With little discussion and no disagreement, Volusia County is moving to connect two major roadways on the south side of DeLand and reduce congestion on other nearby roads.
If all goes well, South Blue Lake Avenue will be extended southward to State Road 472, and the segment may be ready for cars and trucks within a year.
“The design is already done,” County Engineer Tadd Kasbeer told The Beacon, adding progress toward actual construction is well underway. “It’s in the bidding process right now.”
The County Council Nov. 15 agreed to partner with DeLand for the relocation of the city‘s underground utilities now in the right of way, or linear path, of the lengthening of Blue Lake Avenue. Under the agreement, the county will combine the movement and reinstallation of the water and sewer lines with the building of the two-lane thoroughfare into one task and will then charge DeLand separately for the utilities work.
“Consolidating the construction work under one contractor will reduce the overall construction duration and minimize inconvenience to the traveling public,” a project summary reads. “This agreement requires the city to issue a purchase order to
the county for the cost of the utility portion of the overall project once the bids are
opened and prior to the county’s award of the contract.”
“The city will be responsible for their costs,” Kasbeer said.
The County Council’s latest action follows its Nov. 1 approval of the deal to acquire the right of way for the new road segment.
The council then ratified a contract with the F.A. family and Ford Properties to pay $980,000 for the land needed to extend Blue Lake Avenue from Orange Camp Road to the state highway, a curvilinear distance of 1,910 feet, or a little more than one-third of a mile.
Kasbeer said the bids from contractors are now being received and will be opened soon. The county may award the contract to the lowest bidder by the end of the year, he noted, even though the council has only two more meetings scheduled, both in December.
Asked when construction of the road may begin, Kasbeer replied, “I would say the best time would be February, most likely March.”
The Blue Lake Avenue Extension may be completed about eight months after its start, or before the end of 2023.
“It’s amazing how quickly you can build a road if you don’t have traffic. It won’t take long since you don’t have traffic,” Kasbeer said.
“This will provide a much needed connection and relieve traffic pressure on Orange Camp Road and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway,” a county memorandum reads.
As for the cost of the new road segment, Kasbeer estimated the construction will cost between $2 million and $3 million.
The developer of Phase 3A of Victoria Park, OK Victoria Park LLLP, has paid $1.3 million to the county and the City of DeLand “to mitigate the traffic impacts of Phase 3A of Victoria Park,” a county memorandum notes.
“This funding was designed specifically for the extension of Blue Lake Avenue. The remainder of the funding for the project will be from proportionate fair share payments and impact fees,” the paper concludes.