Home Local News Canada Road Will Be Paved But Patience Is Required

Canada Road Will Be Paved But Patience Is Required

Canada Road on Friday morning, January 5, 2024.

As the old saying goes, there’s some good news and there’s some bad news. The good news is Canada Road, from Highway 64 to the I-40 overpass, will be completely repaved. The bad news is that process will not start until summer of 2025.

At the December Lakeland Board of Commissioner’s meeting (BOC) the subject was discussed due to the acquisition of a grant to help with the paving project. “We can all agree that it is well overdue [for paving]”, Emily Harrell, the City Engineer for Lakeland, told the board. However, as with most projects, funding sources must be considered first. Mrs. Harrell said there are only five roads in Lakeland that federal grant money can be used for a paving project, Canada Road being one of them. According to city officials it makes sense to utilize those federal funds, even if the project is delayed more than everyone would like. The Surface Transportation Block grant will cover 80% of the Canada Road project, a significant savings for the city.

“Since the project is federally funded, the City will be required to follow TDOT Local Programs guidelines which include an environmental assessment, design, right-of-way, and construction phases,” Mrs. Harrell told Lakeland Currents. “The timeline for the project is significantly longer than if the city were using local dollars, due to the coordination and approvals required by TDOT. The environmental and design phases are estimated to take one (1) year with construction to begin summer 2025,” she said.

Mayor Josh Roman said in the meeting he wished the timeline was different but if the funds are accepted there’s nothing the city can do to speed up the process. “All of us would like it paved tomorrow, however, it [the delay] is based on the process that we have no control over,” he said. Commissioner Jim Atkinson agreed he would like to see it paved much sooner, but accepting the federal grant funds for the project would free up paving funds in the current budget for other local streets in Lakeland not eligible for grants.

The vote to utilize the federal grant for the 2025 paving project was approved 5-0 by the BOC. Mrs. Harrell did say the city will still perform repairs on Canada Road until the repaving project officially begins.