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Tribal departments address dangerous intersection

Road Improvements07BIG CYPRESS — To address safety concerns brought up by Tribal Council, several Seminole Tribe of Florida departments joined efforts to widen the intersection of Wind Clan Road and Farmer Road on the Big Cypress Reservation.

The result is a safer, more accessible road.

“The road was really narrow and cars couldn’t pass safely,” Transportation coordinator Marilyn Markwei said, adding that several Big Cypress residents must utilize the road. “It [was] a very simple construction.”

The Tribe contracted Weekley Asphalt Paving Inc. to extend the culvert and widen the road. Founded in 1947, the company specializes in asphalt production, as well as in the construction of highways, roads and bridges, according to its website, and has completed a bridge on Snake Road in the past.

Improvements to the Wind Clan and Farmer Roads intersection also included increased signage and the addition of a guardrail. Overhead power lines were also relocated.

“Big Cypress Councilman Manuel Tiger and Board Representative Joe Frank played a very important role in getting this project fast tracked,” Markwei said in an email. “A host of departments have also been part of the planning and design of this project including Planning, Housing, SPD, Public Works, ERMD, Infrastructure Services and Transportation. We appreciate their help and support.”

Construction took about 60 days to complete, said Brandon Vallozzi assistant director of the Infrastructure Services Department.

“Safety was our No. 1 issue with that section of the roadway,” Vallozzi said. “Now, it’s a lot safer. That was really the main idea.”

Markwei said the Transportation Department also has other upcoming projects in the works, including paving and improving the drainage to Buffalo Jim Loop, Mabel T. Frank Way, Osprey Road, Falcon Lane and Panther Lane.

General improvements will also be made to Josie Billie Highway for safety and drainage concerns.

The Transportation Department welcomes the comments and suggestions of Tribal members on all Transportation projects. To comment, call 954-985-2300 ext. 10645.