The extension of the Gainesville-Hawthorne trail for bicyclists was discussed by Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) staff at a public information meeting on 10/7/2014.
FDOT was asked by the City of Hawthorne to extend the trail from the trailhead west of U.S. 301 through the city limits along Southeast 71st Avenue and Northeast Johnson Street (Southeast 221st Street) to where it ties in with Hawthorne Road (State Road 20) near the overpass. Future plans are to extend the trail along State Road 20 to Palatka.
FDOT proposes the enhancements using shared lanes on the roadways, which are designated with “sharrow” pavement symbols painted in the middle of the travel lane. A shared lane means bicyclists have the right to take the full lane.
Currently, construction is planned to begin in the summer of 2016 and the estimated cost is $423,000. The sections of roadway will be repaved and new pavement markings added. In addition, Southeast 71st Avenue will be widened by eight feet to provide two 13-foot lanes.