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Lorrie Delk Walker
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Lakeland Public Relations Professional and SEO writer
Lakeland Public Relations Professional and SEO writer

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The City of Lakeland will be doing extensive work on Lime Street that includes a sewer main relocation project, the install of two raised cross walks and accessibility improvements for patrons visiting the RP Funding Center. A portion of Lime Street in front of the RP Funding Center will be closed for approximately two weeks during the multi-departmental construction project. Message Boards are currently in place warning drivers about the upcoming closure. The closure will start the morning of July 30th with the impacted area of Lime Street expected to be re-open on August 15th with detours clearly marked.

John Casey, Manager of Engineering said, “Crews will do everything possible to complete all work on or before our expected August 15th completion date with the goal to open the road back up as soon as possible.” The Lime Street entrances to Blake Academy and the Lakeland Housing Authority will be accessible but the roadway will be closed to through traffic.

The City’s Waste Water Division will relocate and extend an existing sewer line as part of the infrastructure needed for the new hotel being built adjacent to the RP Funding Center. Coinciding with that, Public Works will be working on crosswalk improvements to assist RP Funding Center attendees cross Lime Street from the south parking lot. The crosswalk enhancements are to improve pedestrian safety. The crosswalks will be realigned, designed with high visibility reflective materials and will feature blinking solar-powered push button signage at each crosswalk approach.

Angelo Rao, Manager of Traffic Operations said, “There is a lot of work that will be going on during the two-week construction phase from two different Departments. It is a very efficient way to meet the demands for pedestrian safety and improve the infrastructure for new construction.” He added, “The major goal for Public Works is to enhance pedestrian safety but there will be tertiary upgrades like improved drainage that will also benefit the public.”

The City of Lakeland was incorporated January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida. With a current population over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years. With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor. The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 115 years ago.

For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net. Citizens are also invited to follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat and Nextdoor. Citizens can find the City of Lakeland on these social media platforms by searching lakelandgov.

On June 4, construction starts at the Intersection of Lake Hollingsworth Drive and Ingraham Avenue to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. Construction is anticipated to be completed by June 20. The intersections’ lanes will be closed on a 24 hours/day basis during the construction project. Lanes will be re-opened as soon as feasible.

The intersection construction project eliminates one pedestrian crossing leading from Florida Southern College to the Lake Hollingsworth Trail. The remaining pedestrian crossing will be realigned to coincide with the Florida Southern boat dock walkway. A tapered concrete separator measuring 6” tall and 4’ wide will be installed to separate the bike path from vehicular traffic. The existing Stop sign will be relocated to the concrete separator and new “Bicycles Must Yield to Pedestrian” signs will be installed.

Visitors around the Francis Langford Promenade at Lake Mirror may be wondering what construction crews are doing near the Albert Paley sculpture “Tribute to the Volunteer Spirit”. The four column clusters that frame the piece of art are being restored. The column clusters are in the area known as the Dixie Highway and they consist of five 15’ tall Corinthian precast columns that surround a center column that is 18’2” tall. Round light globes top each of the columns.

The column clusters were originally installed in 1926 as part of the original Lake Mirror construction. In 1959 the columns were removed and replaced. In 2016, all four sets of columns were damaged after a windstorm. As a temporary fix, the columns were strapped and injected with epoxy until funding could be identified for the restoration.

A grant application was submitted in 2016 to the State of Florida Division of Historic Resources to assist in restoration funding. It was approved for funding in 2017. The cost of restoration is $198,995. The project is funded partially by the State of Florida Department of Historic Resources in the amount of $50,000 and the remainder is funded through the city’s 2018 Fiscal Year Public Improvement Capital Plan in the amount of $148,995. Rodda Construction has been awarded the bid to complete the renovation project that is expected to be completed summer 2018.

#Lkld #Lakeland #DowntownLakeland

Effective Tuesday, January 9th the City of Lakeland will implement the new changes to downtown parking that includes the opportunity for customers to park longer the two-hours in downtown spaces and a “Free After Three” option in the Main Street Parking Garage.

Angelo Rao, Manager of Traffic and Parking Operations said, We are trying to create user friendly balance between those that require additional time to park downtown and customers who have short-term parking needs.”

As a solution for those that require more than two-hours of downtown parking, on-street peripheral locations on Massachusetts Avenue, Main Street and Orange Street. The exact areas are depicted in green on the attached map. This peripheral parking will have a new ParkMobile zone number assigned: “2725”. For this new zone, the first two hours of operation will be free of charge, followed by the ability to purchase up to seven additional continuous hours (for a grand total of up to nine hours) at the rate of $0.25 per hour plus applicable ParkMobile fees.

The lower level of the Main Street Garage for those that enter from Cedar Street will be “Free After 3”. This area is depicted in brown on the attached map. The current hourly payment of $1.00 per hour plus applicable ParkMobile fees will only be required from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday. No payment is required after 3:00 p.m. and no payment is required during the weekends.

The Park and Ride spaces on Rose Street, the Lake Mirror Center Parking lot and the Peggy Brown Building parking lot (depicted in purple) continue to have free unlimited parking at any time. All City-owned on-street and off-street parking has free unlimited parking evenings and weekends, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., Monday thru Friday and all day during the weekends. For additional information on parking in the City of Lakeland, please visit http://www.lakelandgov.net/parking.

#Lkld #Lakeland #DowntownLakeland

IMPROVEMENTS TO HOLLINGSWORTH ROAD TAKING PLACE TARGETING STUDENT SAFETY

LAKELAND, FL (December 15, 2017) – The City of Lakeland’s Traffic, Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Team recently had a meeting to review strategies to improve safety along Hollingsworth Road as students approach Lakeland High School and Harrison School for the Arts. The City of Lakeland’s Traffic Operations, Community Development, Engineering and Police Department along with representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation attended the meeting. The group reviewed available options to improve pedestrian safety including reduced speed limits, enhanced street lighting, new 15 MPH reduced speed school zone with flashing beacons and improved crosswalk signage.

Angelo Rao, Manager of Traffic Operations said, “We will be implementing a number of improvements over the next few months with some of the quicker enhancements taking place over the Polk County School Board’s holiday break.” He added, “The goal is to have the reduced 15 MPH speed school zone signage and beacons operating when public schools resume on Thursday, January 4th.”

The City of Lakeland’s Traffic, Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Team have implemented or will be implementing the following public safety enhancements along Hollingsworth Road.

1. HOLLINGSWORTH ROAD POSTED SPEED LIMIT: Traffic Operations has replaced 35-MPH speed limit signs along the Hollingsworth Road corridor with new 30-MPH signs (and an additional northbound sign installed just north of the round-about). The reduced 30-MPH speed limit is justified based on the residential character of this roadway with numerous driveways, the presence of three (3) schools and the uncontrolled pedestrian crossings adjacent to both high schools.

2. ENHANCED STREET LIGHTING: Lakeland Electric has conducted a field inspection along the corridor and will upgrade the two crosswalk roadway light fixtures at Cumberland Street and Palmetto Street with brighter LED fixtures. In conjunction with these enhancements, Lakeland Electric will upgrade the streetscape lights along Hollingsworth Road with new LED lights. This work is anticipated to be completed during the first quarter of 2018.

3. 15-MPH REDUCED SPEED SCHOOL ZONE: The City of Lakeland will install reduced 15 MPH speed limit school zone signage with flashing yellow beacons. A recent traffic study confirms significant pedestrian crossing activity at the two uncontrolled crosswalks. The City’s Traffic Safety Team recommends that a reduced 15-MPH school zone be established fronting Lakeland High School/Harrison School of the Arts. Installation will take place over the next few weeks so the flashing beacons will be ready for activation on January 4th for the start of the spring 2018 semester. The yellow flashing beacons would operate for 45 minutes in the morning (6:30 – 7:15 a.m.) and the afternoons (2:00 – 2:45 p.m.) when school is in session. Vehicles that exceed the reduced school zone 15-MPH speed limit (applicable when the yellow beacons are in “flash mode”) will be subject to a traffic citation. Additionally, the signage “SPEEDING FINES DOUBLED” will be posted and applicable during these student arrival and dismissal times.

4. CROSSWALK SIGNAGE: Crosswalk signage with push-button LED lights will be another tool that the City of Lakeland’s Traffic, Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Team wants to implement at Cumberland Street and Palmetto Street. The Team is currently reviewing products from several different vendors and anticipates installation in early 2018.

For more information on the City of Lakeland’s traffic operations, please visit www.lakelandogv.net/publicworks.

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Busy shopping days are ahead in #DowntownLakeland. Shop Small Saturday is Nov. 25, and Museum Store Sunday is Nov. 26. Click the link for details on all the offers at the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College in honor of Museum Store Sunday.

#Lkld #Lakeland

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East Polk County residents who have enjoyed +Got Candy & More in Downtown Lakeland for years might take particular pleasure in knowing that owner Lea Williams has opened the Pink Table Cafe in Downtown Winter Haven. In addition to lunch items, sweets like you find at Got Candy are available, too.

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Tonight is the Holiday Walkabout in #DowntownLakeland. Boondock Studios, just a stone's throw outside the Downtown boundary, is piggybacking with their "Midtown Holiday Drive-a-Little." Cute!

They'll be open until 9 p.m. to help kick off the holiday festivities in #Lakeland.

They're at 811 N. Florida Ave. (863) 816-5896

#Lkld
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City Manager Tony Delgado will host his second Tony Talks at City Hall on Nov. 15, 7:30-8:30 a.m.

The session will feature an update on key projects and upcoming initiatives before opening the floor for audience questions. Departmental staff will be available to answer questions.

Tony Talks also is a networking opportunity for businesses, community organizations, citizens and newcomers to the area to learn about their local government including upcoming projects and initiatives.

City Hall is located at 228 S. Massachusetts Ave. in Lakeland. Refreshments offered on a first come, first served basis.

#Lkld #Lakeland #DowntownLakeland

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You can see the art of Jason Myers through Dec. 10 at the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College. Here's a Q&A with the artist.

#Lkld #Lakeland #DowntownLakeland
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