FAMU Way to Receive the ‘Most Beautiful’ Face-Lift
By LaDarius Calhoun
Millions of dollars is the price for creating the most beautiful roadway in all of Tallahassee.
Construction on FAMU Way began in April 2014, with plans to redesign and extend the roadway in the south side community. With motivation from Tallahassee’s city commission, input from neighborhood residents and Florida A&M University along with six years of planning, the extension of FAMU Way is scheduled to be complete by 2018.
The $37 million project will be completed in two phases: extending FAMU Way on a southwesterly course west of Pinellas Street, where it will connect with Gamble Street and follow Gamble Street until it meets Lake Bradford Rd., according to the city’s website. The FAMU Way corridor, between Wahnish Way and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., will be enhanced as well for neighbors to enjoy the new scenery.
Phase one of the construction was scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2015. The entire project, will extend FAMU Way to Lake Bradford Rd.
When construction is complete, FAMU Way will include several roundabouts, on-street parking, park-like amenities, a landscaped area the size of five football fields, a bike lane, five-foot-wide sidewalks and much more.
The Capital Cascades Trail (Cascades Park) project will serve as a complement to the city’s extension of FAMU Way and the two will be connected by the Cascades trail.
The Cascades Trail will consist of a playground, multi-use trail and a linear park that will run alongside the roadway.
The Tallahassee south-side community continues to see improvements beneficial to the city.
“When you look at what has already been accomplished – from the city’s sense-of-place improvements on Palmer Ave. to the opening of Cascades Park, you can’t help but be excited about the transformation that is underway in our city,” said former Mayor John Marks in a press release.
The improvements to a roadway once used by many on their daily commute will become more accessible to the community, creating a safer commute for motorized and non-motorized uses and minimizing environmental impacts.
This project will enhance drainage issues, potholes commuters have wanted addressed for years and allow the community to live, play and commute better.
Businesses like the New Beginnings Day Care off of FAMU Way, once believed the roadway project would be an inconvenience, but now sees the benefit.
Kenedria Thruman, assistant director at New Beginnings, said the project will improve traffic flow.
“It’s bringing the Tallahassee community together as well as expanding the road, Thurman said. “It’s more than just a road, which I think is the saying, because the kids are allowed to be a part of it.”
Residents who witness the extension of FAMU Way didn’t see the project as an inconvenience until it was time to commute to class during bad weather.
“I think it’s great that they are making a change to our community and FAMU,” said Lytrice Ponders, a former resident of Kingston Square (the apartment complex right off FAMU Way). “The only problem I have is walking in all of the dirt, or mud when it’s raining. It’s nasty.”
The project is pretty pricey. Fifty-five properties have been purchased for $11.2 million with sales-tax dollars. Those parcels include 11 single-family homes, 33 vacant lots, five multi-family residential units and six warehouses or abandoned buildings.
By the time the project is complete, the city wants to make sure the community’s past is not forgotten. Construction workers say FAMU Way will be one of the most attractive roadways in the city come 2018.
For more information on the Blueprint 2000 project, visit www.talgov.com