We in Melbourne — and all of Brevard County, for that matter — have been dealing with road issues, making driving exhausting and annoying for some. County officials have been open about making roads a top priority in future legislation plans, and we’re beginning to get a clearer view of what they mean by that.
The requests they intend to bring up to Florida Legislature on December 16th are more public now, including changes aplenty to various major roads throughout Brevard.
Getting financial support from Florida Legislature would not only help get these new road plans off the ground, but possibly help the pace of other road projects that have been on the backlog for some time. The pacing of these projects has been slow, but finally Melbourne residents could be getting closer to efficient highways and major roads.
Here are just a few of the plans that officials are planning to bring up in hopes of getting funds. If you recognize any of these roads, you’ll want to keep tabs on if these projects move forward.
Expanding on the Parkway
No stranger to road work, Brevard’s potential projects unsurprisingly start with the St. John’s Heritage Parkway. Already created for the purposes of clearing up traffic on other highways, officials want to add on to it. Expanding on St. John’s, according to officials, would also involve construction on I-95 and Ellis Rd.
In the short term, this could get frustrating. It’s difficult to determine how long this plan would take, and working on 3 roads at once can cause infuriating delays. The long-term benefits, however, are exciting. Less congestion around other nearby interchanges would be a relief.
This can also give those on the highway or parkway more direct access to Melbourne International Airport by connecting to Ellis, keeping a lot of people successfully separated as they eye different destinations.
Wider, Safer Roads
Ellis Road may also be getting something of a makeover. New interchanges to Ellis means new traffic, and Brevard County plans on limiting congestion by widening the road to four lanes.
State Road 528 will also be getting wider. The plan there is not only to continue a road-widening design that had already been underway, but to add features for bicyclists, giving those who prefer to bike to work an option as well.
Spreading out busy roads like this would be something of a blessing come rush hour, a simple improvement that would make a world of difference for those on the go. Long distance drives to work may become more manageable.
Some major roads wouldn’t get wider, but they could get safer. A1A has already been approved for improvements from the Pineda Causeway to U.S. 192, including adding signs, building crosswalks, and adding an asphalt surface. Brevard’s plan involves improvements on the other side of the road, stretching from the aforementioned causeway to Port Canaveral.
Boosting safety measures on a notoriously dangerous road sounds like a given, but doesn’t happen often enough. This could make for less dangers and stress not only for drivers, but pedestrians as well.
Rail Stops Would Provide More Options
Sometimes you have to travel far for work. The officials who came up with Brevard County’s requests recognize this, and included a public transit plan that could make your trip to work more convenient, as well as the commutes of those around you.
All About Florida’s rail service, Brightline, makes express stops from Orlando to Miami, which are about four hours apart. Brevard County, caught in between the two cities, is lobbying to get themselves a stop on Brightline.
Miami is awfully far from Melbourne. But Orlando, not quite as far, is a place where Brevard County residents are more likely to commute. Successfully getting a stop on Brightline can give Orlando employees a route to work without traffic, and give others a potential route to work with fewer cars on the road.
These requests are still just that, and there’s no guarantee they will all get passed. But Brevard County officials, true to their word, are doing what they can to make roads a priority. Should they succeed, the next few years could see safer roads and easier routes for Melbourne.
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