Sewer work on Florida Avenue that was expected to disrupt downtown traffic for much of the week was completed in less than a day and the road has reopened.

The work to replace a broken sewer lateral began Tuesday evening. By 10:18 a.m. Wednesday morning, the city of Lakeland sent out a news release saying that the work is complete, adding, “Great work overnight by the hard-working COL crew.”

The short-lived work closed all lanes of Florida Avenue between Main Street and the CSX railroad tracks. Traffic had been rerouted around downtown on Lime Street, Sikes Boulevard and George Jenkins Boulevard.

The only commuter cycle interrupted was this morning’s.


Through traffic on Florida Avenue in the downtown area will be rerouted onto Lime Street, Sikes Boulevard and George Jenkins Boulevard later this week to accommodate a sewer repair.

All lanes of Florida Avenue will be closed starting around 7 p.m. Tuesday in the work area — the block between Main Street and the CSX railroad tracks. The sewer repair is expected to be completed by the end of the business day on Friday, according to a city of Lakeland news release.

The Florida Department of Transportation, which oversees the road — officially State Road 37 — determined all lanes should be closed in the work area instead of an earlier plan to keep two lanes open to “increase safety for the work crews and provide a more efficient environment for the repair,” according to the news release.

The map above shows the 24-hour-a-day detour route in blue.

“Local traffic (non-through) will be able to access businesses adjacent to the work zone but will not be able to go through the work area,” according to the news release.

The sidewalk on the east side of Florida Avenue will be closed between Main Street and Pine Street, with pedestrians rerouted to the sidewalk on the west side of the street.

Northbound Citrus Connection bus routes will not be affected by the closures, according to Carlie Flagler, a planner with the agency. However, “southbound routes will leave the terminal via North Missouri Avenue, head to Sikes Boulevard and continue to the closest on-route and open intersection,” she said.

“The detours will miss a minimal number of stops – if any, and should have a minimal impact on the overall route. I will mention that the construction area has no transit stops inside, so there won’t be an issue there,” she continued. 


The project that was scheduled to disrupt traffic on a downtown block of Florida Avenue next week has been postponed, the city of Lakeland announced on Friday. The city had planned to keep two lanes of traffic open between Main Street and the CSX railroad tracks, but the Florida Department of Transportation wants to close all four lanes, according to a city news release.

“We’ll send an update once logistics have been solidified,” the city news release said.


Work to repair sewer lines will close two lanes of Florida Avenue for one block in the heart of downtown Lakeland starting next Monday, March 6. The work, which is expected to take five days, will close the northbound lanes between Main Street and the CSX railroad, the city of Lakeland announced.

Traffic will be shifted to the two southbound lanes, with one through lane for each direction. Motorists are urged to find alternate routes during the work.

Signs will alert drivers to the rerouting of traffic. The work is scheduled to start at 7 a.m. Monday.

The closed portion is just south of the Citrus Connection bus terminal, which is on the west side of Florida Avenue. Tom Phillips, executive director of the Citrus Connection, said buses will be rerouted around the closure “and pick up all passengers at the closest stop outside the closure area. Trip times will be minimally impacted and we will hold impacted buses at the terminal for connections.”

City wastewater crews will be replacing a broken sewer lateral under the roadway.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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