Additional lanes approved for crowded intersection


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The intersection of Suntree Boulevard and U.S. 1 should be safer in the future.

VIERA VOICE photo

Suntree drivers should feel a little safer in the future.

An unusually high crash rate at the intersection of Suntree Boulevard and U.S. 1 prompted the Florida Department of Transportation to conduct a safety study. The findings, to the relief of many area residents, resulted in the FDOT’s proposal to implement a new left-hand-turn lane and a new right-turn lane at the intersection.

“They did a traffic study because a lot of crashes were happening here, and this project is supposed to reduce the number of crashes,” said J. William Lanier, project engineer. “What we’re doing is adding a left-turn lane on U.S. 1, and adding a receiving lane on Suntree Boulevard.”

A public meeting was held by the FDOT on July 12 to inform citizens of the turn lane and to address questions about the project. The FDOT said community-member feedback has been in favor of the project overall.

“From what I know, there has been mostly positive (feedback) from the community. This is a safety-improvement project,” said Todd Lang of the FDOT.

“The left-turn lane on U.S. 1 backs up considerably. The addition of another left-turn lane will help more cars cue up in the turn lane and not the through lanes of U.S. 1.,” Lanier said. “We are also adding another right-turn lane (onto U.S. 1) from Suntree Boulevard, changing the movement to two rights.”

Benefits of the project will include milling and resurfacing of existing pavement and increased pedestrian safety. New curb ramps, a new traffic signal with pedestrian crossing signals and other modifications will improve safety and operations at the intersection. Drainage improvements are included in the plan. A 5-foot bike lane also will be added in the northbound lane.

“We’re also helping bikers get through the intersection on U.S. 1,’’ Lanier said. ”We shifted the lanes to accommodate a 5-foot bike lane, which is great for the bicyclists.’’

Several driveways on the north side of Suntree Boulevard will be reconstructed where they join the sidewalk to meet requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). One driveway at Harmony Music will be relocated to meet Brevard County standards. No other changes in access will occur, and access to affected properties will be maintained during construction.

Construction is projected to commence in the Fall of 2018, with completion in the Spring of 2019. The total cost of the project is $1.7 million.

Project highlights:

• Adding a second northbound left-turn lane from U.S. 1 to Suntree Blvd.

• Adding a corresponding westbound receiving lane on Suntree Blvd.

• Adding an eastbound right-turn lane from Suntree Boulevard to U.S. 1. VV

For more information, go to CFLRoads.com.