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Gaines Street Re-Opens For Motorists After Construction Finishes

Gaines Street
Caitie Switalski

Today Tallahassee’s Gaines Street will re-open in time for evening rush hour traffic.  The final phase of a roundabout project for the major road is nearly finished.

As of Friday afternoon around 4, commuters will finally be able to drive on Gaines.   

Phase III of the renovation project began back on May 5, 2014. It shut down the Woodward Avenue intersection, along with the Lake Bradford Road, Railroad Avenue, and Stadium Drive access points to Gaines. 

Tallahassee city spokeswoman Alison Faris says, “The whole concept is that this be a place where people can go eat, play, shop, dine and have the opportunity to see great artwork.  It’s just a great destination district.”                        

Drivers will notice Gaines Street looks a whole lot different.  Since its May closure, the road received a large roundabout at the Woodward Avenue intersection, repaving and replacement of the curbs and gutters. The sidewalks have been replaced and widened as well to make way for heavier pedestrian traffic.

The project in total cost the city around $17 million.  The county and state also provided several million dollars apiece.  The majority of the funds came from a 2005 sales tax extension. 

Faris says drivers will get to see all of the big changes at 4 today.

“They are gonna enjoy their ride, I will tell you that,” she says.                        

One last finishing touch is yet to come. The installation of an art piece at the roundabout will be completed this fall.  The expected piece is ‘Declaration’ by Kenneth Von Roenn, the director of the Florida State University Master Craftsman Studio.