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Blueprint hosts public hearing on Northeast Gateway project

Posted at 11:15 PM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 23:15:12-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Of the 16 people who chose to publicly share their thoughts on the Welaunee Boulevard Expansion Project, the overwhelming refrain was to wait before making such a long lasting and expensive decision.

The project aims to ease traffic in the northern part of Tallahassee.
It's expected to generate $104.6 million in sales and revenue, $2 million worth of car maintenance and fuel cost savings by 2025, and 650 new jobs. But people like Kathy Archibald who live in the affected area say, "This road is too soon, it's too expensive, and there are cheaper alternatives."

Tallahassee City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow adds that a significant portion of the 71 million dollars it would take to complete the project could be used for more pressing needs.

"The issues we have on West Tharpe Street, Orange Avenue in front of Nims Middle School, even North Monroe coming off of I-10 ... I think those are the types of projects people want to see us prioritize," said Matlow.

Others expressed concerns about protecting the rural character of the area, as well as the recently verified New Hope slave cemetery.

"We are recommending that funding be set aside for a complete African American slave burial ground and remembering research study project."

Commissioners will consider comments from Wednesdays meeting as they vote on next steps Thursday.

"What we will do tomorrow is discuss whether or not we want to approve the PD and E document and move forward from there," said Leon County Commissioner Rick Minor.

It's not too late to submit your comments. They'll be accepted in writing through June 7th.