By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
Too many drivers use Newberry Road inside Newberry city limits, so FDOT has kept city planners from approving any building permits that would add a single car onto the road.
City leaders have proposed paving what amounts to a bypass south of town on SW 30th Avenue to easing the state's restrictions. If builders and businesses will help pay the costs...they are hoping to open up a logjam in the permit office.
Cars, cars and more cars. About 15-thousand a day on Newberry Road--about 4000 more than capacity. Meanwhile, on SW 30th Avenue, a cloud of dust follows car and trucks going in either direction.
James Lee has lived along SW 30th for 36 years after fleeing the traffic of Miami. But he's resigned to dealing with the extra cars that are already coming through.
"I didn't do a very good job getting away from traffic," says Lee. "But the longer I'm here, the more traffic I get."
Newberry Mayor John Glanzer says more than a thousand homes and several businesses have been waiting up to two years for a permit to build or expand.
"To have these restrictions on our ability to grow because of regional traffic issues is very frustrating," says Glanzer.
City engineers have determined the fair price. For every extra car on Newberry Road between 5 and 6 P.M. developers would have to put $9500 in a fund to help pave SW 30th Avenue in the future.
But Glanzer says FDOT is now signalling the city's estimate may be too low. Glanzer fears more may be too much.
"People want to come in and start a small scale local business, an attorney's office, a beauty salon, an ice cream shop," says Glanzer. "It may be something that breaks their backs and they won't come to our community."
But as far as traffic goes, Lee isn't worried.
"It don't bother me," he laughs. "But I just would like to quiet every once in a while anyways."
There's a meeting Tuesday evening to tell the community and interested parties about the proposal. The Newberry City Commission will decide what they want to do at Wednesday night's meeting.
A 7-mile strip between 337 and 202nd Street/241 South has a price tag of 16-million dollars.
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