Residents hopeful about changes to Betton Road as almost year-long closure begins

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:25 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The City of Tallahassee is preparing to reconstruct Betton Road, a project that could take between nine and 12 months. The work begins Monday, June 14.

The construction will be done in four phases, moving west to east, from Thomasville Road to Centreville Road.

The phases will allow residents to get to their homes, but the entire road will be closed to thru traffic during the project.

Nearby residents and commuters say the construction will be an inconvenience, but the issues on the road outweigh the detour difficulties they’ll be facing.

Aniston Russ is on the road at least three times a week to go to work at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

She said the pedestrian improvements in particular are needed.

“I always try to keep a look out for them, and it makes me a little nervous,” said Russ. “Because I know that I watch out for those things too. And I think it can be a bit dangerous at particular times of the day.”

Betton Hills resident Bob Goree also believes pedestrian improvements are needed.

“We walk a lot, so sometimes I don’t like to walk with my back to the traffic. Because these days with distracted drivers and who knows what, you’re kind of taking your life in your own hands,” said Goree.

One of those pedestrian improvements include creating a wider buffer between the sidewalk and the street by narrowing the existing lanes. Construction will also involve reconstructing certain crossings to meet ADA compliance standards.

Another issue is traffic.

“When we have to drive to my daughter’s soccer practice, we went down this road once. Never again,” said local mother, Elie Moody. “We definitely avoid this road at all costs.”

“The traffic flows, but it’s a mess!” added Goree.

Russ says she’s lived in Tallahassee for her whole life, and she’s used to the sort of two lane road traffic on Betton Road.

“It’s a very common route for a lot of people, so coming to and from the hospital, it can definitely be backed up,” said Russ.

Her commute will be affected by the construction.

“I will have to find another route, which I”m sure there is one, but probably not as direct. So I will have to bypass that, which will be a bummer! I will look forward to when it’s reopened!”

The road itself is going to be re-paved as part of the project, and while the City is enhancing the roadway, contractors will also replace water and sewer infrastructure.

The City says Phase One should take about two months, barring unforseen delays.

You can learn more about the project on the City’s website here.

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