FAMU Way Extension Project Breaks Ground
Community Invited to Groundbreaking Ceremony
March 26, 2014
What goes into creating the "most beautiful roadway in all of Tallahassee?" It takes direction from the City Commission, input from adjacent neighborhoods, retail establishments and Florida A&M University and six years of planning and design work. On Monday, March 31, the City of Tallahassee will celebrate the start of construction on the roadway portion of the FAMU Way Extension Project. Members of the community are invited to help kick-off construction by attending the groundbreaking event on Monday at 11 a.m. The ceremony will take place on FAMU Way near the Wahnish Way intersection. Designated parking for the event will be available in City-owned lots along Railroad Avenue and in Railroad Square.
The FAMU Way Extension Project is a $37 million investment that will extend FAMU Way from Wahnish Way to Lake Bradford Road. In addition, enhancements will be made to the existing FAMU Way corridor between Wahnish Way and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. When complete, the roadway will feature several roundabouts, beautiful landscaping, on-street parking and create a much needed east-west corridor to help alleviate traffic downtown.
Construction of Blueprint 2000's Capital Cascades Trail project began earlier this month and will serve as a complement to the City's extension of FAMU Way. The Capital Cascades Trail will consist of a linear park, multi-use trail, playground, bicycle paths, pedestrian walkways and many other amenities that will run alongside FAMU Way. Together, these two projects will provide a beautiful roadway over the existing drainage ditch, along with new places to experience and explore.
"When you look at what has already been accomplished - from the City's sense of place improvements on Palmer Avenue to the opening of Cascades Park, you can't help but be excited about the transformation that is underway in our city," said Mayor John Marks. "Most importantly, the FAMU Way Extension Project is an investment in the southside and our entire community. Not only does it offer benefits for residents and their families to enjoy, but it also recognizes and respects the history and heritage of the neighborhood, the area businesses and Florida A&M University."
From the very beginning, the City has made community involvement in this project a top priority, incorporating citizens' feedback throughout the entire planning process. Starting in summer 2008, the City engaged the community in a dialogue about the potential for extending FAMU Way. The City formed a Citizen Advisory Committee, hosted multiple public meetings and coordinated direct outreach efforts including going from door to door to meet with area residents. Design features that citizens voiced as being important were incorporated into the final plans, which included priorities such as eliminating the deep ditch that runs through the neighborhood, as well as creating a more attractive roadway and enhancing mobility in the area.
In addition to engaging area residents, the City also worked with Florida A&M University to create a design that would protect and enhance the character of the corridor. Architecture students were engaged in the process, working with the City and Blueprint 2000 to develop design themes for the project that included elements of water; color, vibrancy and playfulness; history and heritage; and opportunities for redevelopment.
The FAMU Way Extension Project will be completed in three phases, with construction of phase one beginning on April 1. Phase one consists of the reconstruction of the existing roadway from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Wahnish Way, and will extend FAMU Way westward from Wahnish Way to Pinellas Street. Local contractor M of Tallahassee, Inc. will construct the first phase with an expected completion date in 2016. An estimated 75 construction jobs will be created or maintained as part of the project. More than 20 percent of the work will be sub-contracted to minority-owned businesses.
The second phase of construction will include extending the improvements from Pinellas Street to Gamble Street and should be complete the following year.
A portion of FAMU Way east of the Wahnish Way intersection will be closed from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, March 31, for the groundbreaking ceremony. This segment of FAMU Way will be reopened to traffic following the event, while FAMU Way from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the east of the FAMU New Beginnings Child Development Center driveway will be closed to allow for construction. This section of FAMU Way is expected to remain closed for approximately one year.
For additional information, please visit Talgov.com/famuway or call the City's Communications Department at (850) 891-8534.
Carrie Poole, Communications Department, 891-8533