Overhaul of Orange Avenue, ISB streetscape to begin in 2013
BY JAMES HARPER
Daytona Beach residents who drive down several major thoroughfares throughout the city need to start thinking now about changing their routes or leaving home early as construction is expected to begin soon on revamping and overhauling the streets.
“We have to have a plan to keep traffic moving,” said Ron McLemore, who inherited several major projects in their infancy when he became Daytona Beach’s Public Works Department director.
The former Winter Springs city manager, who has been employed by Daytona Beach for three years, will oversee several major road projects into fruition next year as bids will be going out for contractors to undertake a massive overhaul of Orange Avenue, completion of the International Speedway Boulevard streetscape – west from Nova Road east to Ridgewood Avenue.
A separate streetscape project is planned for the remainder of International Speedway Boulevard (ISB) from Ridgewood Avenue across the bridge to A1A.
MLK a high priority
McLemore said that with the approval of city leaders bids for these projects hopefully would come under the projected cost so there will be funds available to start work on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
If eventually approved – because of extensive design, permitting and grant funding – work on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is anticipated to take two years to complete.
“MLK is a high-priority project. I know it needs to get done,” McLemore noted.
Streetscape phase completed
City commissioners recently approved the repaving of Bill France Boulevard from ISB to Mason Avenue costing $350,000. Work on that roadway has begun with plans to have it completed before the beginning of Speedweeks.
Upon his arrival in 2010, McLemore oversaw a massive repaving project that included upgrading 216 of the city’s streets, many of them in the Midtown area of the city inhabited primarily by African-Americans.
According to the city’s website, the Public Works Department maintains and enhances the transportation infrastructure appearance of the city.
McLemore said bids would go out in April for phases 2 and 3 of what is known as “ISB East.’’ The first phase of the ISB streetscape, which is already completed, included Lincoln Street to MLK Jr. Boulevard.
New lights, sidewalks
McLemore said the city hopes to complete phases 2 and 3 during the same time, which will include new lighting fixtures, sidewalks and repavement of the street.
The remaining two phases are from Nova Road to Lincoln Street and MLK Jr. Boulevard to Ridgewood Avenue.
Costs for this project are estimated between $1 to 1.5 million.
“ISB West” includes Ridgewood Avenue to A1A, which is still in the planning stages.
The biggest project McLemore will be overseeing will be the overhaul of Orange Avenue from Nova Road to Beach Street.
The 1.5-mile stretch of Orange Avenue is known for potholes and asphalt patchwork.
This project is estimated to cost up to $19 million.
McLemore said bidding for the project must take place by July 1.
All utilities will be underground; sidewalks will be widened to six feet and work will be completed on water, sewer and storm water drainage.
McLemore said there will be a total reconstruction, including new decorative light poles and street signals.
For Orange Avenue, $4.8 million will come from the Florida Department of Transportation with the rest coming from city and county coffers.