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Airport roadway improvement projects taking off

Leaders working to develop Southwest Tallahassee
Posted at 6:01 PM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-22 18:16:47-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Major projects are in the works to make way for even more passengers at Tallahassee International Airport in the future. Much of that work includes a massive effort to widen the road in and out of the airport.

As the planes come and go at Tallahassee International Airport, a major road project is taking shape on the ground outside the terminal. Lindsey Harrell is with Florida Department of Transportation. FDOT is the agency behind the massive effort to widen Capital Circle Southwest from two lanes to a divided, six-lane highway.

“I live just a couple minutes away,” Harrell shared. “I think it’s awesome that this airport in this area of town is getting improvement.”

The $63 million project will widen four miles of roadway between Orange Avenue and Springhill Road.

“Things are looking great,” said David Pollard. He is the Director Aviation for TLH. He said the road project fits in with a bigger picture to drive more business to the airport. “Our intention is to surpass one million total passengers by 2024. It fits very nicely into our strategic goals that we’ve established for the airport,” Pollard explained.

In just the last year, Burrell Aviation announced an investment of $35 million centered around leasing land and developing facilities around the airport. That project will lead to 738 permanent jobs. The city of Tallahassee also announced a new $28 million project to build an international processing facility here. That upgrade is a key component in driving the city’s economy forward.

“It’s really exciting,” added Autumn Calder. She is the director for Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency. Using sales tax dollars, they are working to make the connection between the airport and downtown Tallahassee faster and more inviting. “It’s over 12 miles of new multi-modal facilities and 7 miles of improved roadways,” Calder added. That design includes new sidewalks, trails, and bicycle lanes.

The project focuses on the corridor linking Doak Campbell Stadium, Lake Bradford Road and Springhill Road. It also will bring improvements to areas around Innovation Park which is home to the Mag Lab, the largest and highest powered magnet lab in the world.

“I think what they’re going to see is an opportunity for re-investment in the southwest part of our community,” Calder said.

All of this work is lining up new opportunities for trains, planes and automobiles in a part of town that’s ripe for development.

“We’re going to be able to see a lot come from this, and it makes me really excited,” Harrell concluded.

Well, the FDOT road widening on Capital Circle Southwest is supposed to wrap by the fall of 2026. Blueprint estimates their airport gateway project will be done in 2028.