County breaks ground on overdue improvements to CR 315C

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MCRAE – Nearly three miles of County Road 315C is getting some much-needed improvements.

The 2.74-mile stretch of C.R. 315C roadway from County Road 214 to the Putnam County line is in bad shape. It’s very bumpy, home to many potholes, prone to hydroplaning and the site of a several accidents. Local residents, county commissioners and companies on the project gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony on July 10 to celebrate the forthcoming improvements.

“This day is an exciting day for us in Keystone,” county commissioner Gavin Rollins, who represents Keystone Heights, said. “I know many of you here have worked long and hard on this and it’s exciting to see it finally happen.”

Work started on Monday, July 13.

The project should be completed by next April. Improvements to the roadway include lane widening, the addition of paved shoulders, modified driveway culverts and pavement resurfacing. BCC chairman Gayward Hendry said the lanes will be widened to make them much safer, along with other improvements.

Curves in the road will be given Daytona Speedway-like shoulders that allow drivers to take turns at a slight incline. An engineer on the project said as long as drivers take these new curves at the mandated speed limit, they’ll be significantly safer. He also said a special high-friction overlay will be resurfaced onto the roads to direct water off of the road and into special culverts that divert the water back to local ponds and lakes.

This project will include new nighttime signage and reflective installments to make driving on the roads, which aren’t currently lit, safer.

Throughout the ceremony, which concluded with the commissioners and others shoveling dirt from the ceremonial dirt pile, resident Bette Danse continued to openly praise the project and clap when commissioners mentioned an improvement.

“I’ve been here since 2006 and I remember calling the county’s road director [Dave Austin] in 2012 about problems with this road,” Danse said.

Danse said Austin applied for grants to get road work and received funding for some County Road 214 work as well as some work on parts of C.R. 315C, but things weren’t completed. Austin left his position in Clay County and the road problems remained.

Until now.

Danse said she called Austin the night before the ceremony to tell him about the fixes. She said one omission from the project are guard rails. While they aren’t part of the current project plans, she hopes the county considers adding them.

“This project is long overdue,” Hendry said. “This is my last year as commissioner and I’m happy to see that we got around to getting this started.”

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