LEON COUNTY,Fla.(WTXL) — The Leon County Government has announced the reopening of Meridian Road between John Hancock Drive and Timberlane Road after a temporary closure to address persistent flooding and water quality concerns.
Leon County officials say the work was originally scheduled to begin June 1, but the county accelerated the project to align with less traffic on the road during the coronavirus pandemic.
Other drainage improvement construction will continue along Meridian Road until March 2021, and Meridian will remain open to traffic throughout.
"I am proud of our County's continued investment in infrastructure, especially during the coronavirus pandemic," said Leon County Commissioner Chairman Bryan Desloge. "Many of the improvements occurred underground and along the roadway, all to reduce flooding and standing water on the road."
Historically, heavy rain caused water to run over Meridian Road and created hazardous conditions in the area.
To reduce flooding, Leon County improved drainage by installing large box culverts to move water beneath the roadway.
Such improvements are also expected to better treat stormwater and reduce soil erosion, improving the health of adjacent wetlands and Lake Jackson.
"The County's improvements along Meridian make the roadway safer for neighbors and drivers while also improving the health of wetlands near Lake Jackson," said Leon County District 3 Commissioner Rick Minor. "By reducing flooding and treating stormwater, the County is improving safety and preserving our natural environment for future generations."
The temporary closure of Meridian Road was part of a larger drainage improvement project for the area which started in the Spring of 2020.
While Meridian Road has now reopened, other improvements are expected to be completed by March 2021 including additional grading and erosion control features outside of the roadway and will not require further road closures.
"Under reduced traffic, our team was able to accelerate the construction by nearly a month and deliver another high-quality project to improve our community," said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long.
In Fall 2020, Leon County will finish the asphalt surface, requiring temporary short-term lane closures while work is completed--Meridian Road will remain open to traffic throughout the scheduled work.