Noise issues raised at meeting

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Widening of State Road 200 discussed

By Jim Clark
The Florida Department of Transportation on Tuesday briefed the public on plans to widen State Road 200 in Marion County from County Road 484 to the Withlacoochee River at the Citrus County line, but don’t expect to see any construction in the near future.
Stressing that the project is not funded in the five-year plan, DOT officials visiting the Episcopal Church of the Advent on 484 described how the road would be widened to four lanes with a 40-foot grass median. There would be wildlife crossings under the road, and there would be fences to keep wildlife from running onto the road at spots other than designated crossings.
The road would revert to two lanes as it approached the river, since the bridge and the road between the river and the community of Hernando belongs to another DOT district.
Before the meeting, DOT representatives spoke to residents who gathered in front of maps posted on the wall. About 40 people attended.
The hearing allowed time for people to speak, but only three chose to do so.
Linda Diglio of Spruce Creek Preserve spoke first, and said she had major concerns “not only of the noise factor but also the encouraging of more traffic.”
She commented “at no time do I see bumper-to-bumper traffic on 200 at the Preserve,” but one man in the audience shouted out “today at noon.”
Still referring to the noise factor, she said “For those who think it’s a good thing, I invite you to sit on my front porch.” She said that a noise barrier and privacy were not mentioned by DOT.
Judy Brown, also from the Preserve, said she had concerns that the pristine lands along 200 would become prime development targets once the road is widened.
She also noted that “this land has been absorbing runoff” from storms.
Peter Rosbeck said he owns 600 acres and felt that the plans “didn’t have an end game.” He called it “preposterous” to make the plans without having a plan to change the area of the bridge. He also spoke of the need to have a traffic light where the Preserve intersects with the highway.
“DOT better take a good hard look” at the plan, he said.