Plan to repair and extend SW 62nd Blvd in Gainesville hits roadblock
For many people, SW 62nd Blvd. in Gainesville is a nightmare as drivers swerve in and out of their lanes to avoid potholes.
For this reason, city commissioner David Arreola has issued a call to action for residents to help get this road repaired and extended with the county commissions’ help.
“Reach out to the county. Reach out to the city and speak out in support of this project,” Arreola said. “It’s very important everyone needs to hear how important this is.”
Arreola argues the county commission pulled their funding of $4.4 million from this project. Arreola said with that the state and federal government will also pull their funds.
“It is not cheap to completely repave a road and extend it,” Arreola said. “So we are not going to be able to do that with just our funds in Alachua county. We need federal funding to come in and help with this expensive project. Honestly, it’s a onetime opportunity we get every 10 years and we can’t miss this.”
County representatives said they agree SW 62nd needs work—but they say the issue lies in the grant Arreola references that he said should fund this. The county said the grant was made for county use.
“According to the state statute, it says the county may make application to the state for this grant,” said James Harriott, deputy county manager. “In this particular application, it appears that the county didn’t make the application, the city actually made the application directly and crossed out some points and city staff are the contact people.”
The county says since it was a county grant the money should go toward county roads first before they can help the city.
“We had plans for those grant funds also and ideas for that grant in the future,” Harriott said. “it’s not just a one-year grant. It repeats itself over time.”
“I just don’t understand why they continue to focus on this paperwork argument,” Arreola said. “When the truth is the state would not be giving us this grant money if there was some type of improper filing.”
The county says they will be meeting with FDOT to discuss the situation and have it resolved by the end of August.