Will a Closed Street Impact the CSX Project?

An interesting press release from the City of Lakeland flew across my desk today. I’ll quote the whole thing, but the fun is in the map.

CommunityWalk Map – Magnolia St. Closing

LAKELAND, FL (June 2, 2008) — Starting Wednesday, June 4, 2008 West Magnolia Street at Martin L. King Jr. Boulevard (*) will permanently close due to the second phase of construction of the Lakeland In-town Bypass. After the closure, West Magnolia Street can be accessed by turning east on Peachtree Street just north of Lake Wire Road and then north on Virginia Street.

The first phase of the In-Town Bypass from the terminus of Bartow Road at Main Street to SR 35 (North Florida Avenue) opened on February 25, 2004. (*) The second phase of construction includes the westward extension of the In-Town Bypass to SR 600 (George Jenkins Boulevard), with an elevated railroad crossing near the old Florida Tile location. The project also includes the re-alignment of SR 539 (Kathleen Road). Kathleen Road is being re-aligned as part of this project to create a more direct “north-south route” between Interstate 4 and southern Lakeland.

OK, I need to find exactly which of those properties was the “old Florida Tile” location. I do see that tying in the In-Town Bypass to George Jenkins Blvd is sure to affect any opportunity to realign those CSX tracks. In one meeting that sharp turn (*) was blamed for slowing down freight traffic. Removing that left turn from Sikes Blvd. Northbound to Kathleen Rd. Northbound is sure to make many drivers happy.