I normally don't use the Fort Fraser Trail, if you don't live in the area or know what is happening, FDOT is removing all vegitation along the trail for road widening with no plans to replace any of what is removed. I don't know who needs to be contacted in the matter but I am just trying to spread the word. I'm sure many users of the trail will not like what will happen to it.
Using the contact form on www.idriveus98.com
here is the e-mail and response I got from them:
Subject: Contact Form
I was very disappointed and shocked to see the removal of so much
vegetation right next to the Ft. Fraiser Trail. The Trail is now completely
exposed in several locations. This has seriously impacted a very valuable
community resource. I hope that the construction plans for US 98 include
some serious landscaping and revegetating next to the trail as soon as
possible, including adding large trees and not small ones that will take a
decade or more to provide any shade along the Trail!
I'm sending you this e-mail in my capacity of Public Information Officer for
the US 98, south of Manor Drive to north of CR 540A and US 98, Manor Drive
to Old Bartow/Eagle Lake Road project in Polk County. Thank you for your
interest in the US 98 road widening project and for your concerns regarding
the removal of vegetation adjacent to the Fort Fraser Trail. The widening
of US 98 consists of adding a lane, both northbound and southbound,
providing 6 lanes of highway to accommodate the increasing traffic flow
between Bartow and Lakeland. Widening of the roadway creates more surface
area which increases the amount of storm water runoff received during normal
rainfall events. As a requirement for all construction, it is necessary to
capture and treat rainfall runoff. Treatment of storm water runoff on the
US 98 widening project will be accomplished by constructing retaining ponds.
The ponds for the storm water runoff will be constructed just east of the US
98 northbound side on the state-owned property just adjacent to the roadway
(known as the "right of way"). This design eliminated the need to purchase
property for several offsite pond locations and thus resulted in a lower
project cost. Unfortunately, this design did require the removal of several
oak trees and vegetation that were adjacent to Fort Fraser Trail. Once
construction is complete the areas will be sodded.
The notification flier prepared was provided to Polk County Parks and
Recreation and posted on the boards at Fort Fraser Trail, as well as
included in the Roadwatch (and will remain on there until work is completed
near Fort Fraser Trail). The information is also on the www.idriveUS98.com
project website under "Current Construction" with a link to the flier.
Media has also been provided with the information.
Please don't hesitate to contact me in the future regarding any other
inquiries you may have regarding this project.
The Valerin Group, Inc.
Public Information Officer
813-404-1572 (cell) email@example.com
Maybe with enough support and inquiry FDOT will replace the removed vegitation. If anyone knows who else to contact, post up.