Charles Harvey Highway beautification plan proposed

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee County Commissioners Thursday authorized staff to move forward with a conceptional plan for the beautification of the Charles Harvey Memorial Highway.

Charles Harvey Highway is the only county right of way with a generous width that will accommodate a variety of activities including four lanes of traffic, landscaped median and a 10-foot-wide multipurpose path. The highway is a well-traveled corridor ideally located between major residential and commercial land uses, explained county public works director Lee Evett.

This artist’s conception shows the proposal for landscaping the median on Charles Harvey Memorial Highway.

This artist’s conception shows the proposal for landscaping the median on Charles Harvey Memorial Highway.

Landscape architect Jonathan Haigh, PLA, ASLA, presented plans for the beautification project.

“It will be a very beautiful roadway,” said Mr. Evett. “To do the project correctly, we do want four lanes with the median in the center.”

“This area has everything you need for a beautiful roadway.

Mr. Hough said if they receive the grant funding, they could start with the landscaping in the median. He said the other work, such as widening the road and adding sidewalks, will not affect the median.

Mr. Evett said the county can apply for a landscaping grant from FDOT. He said funding opportunities are out there for various parts of the proposal.

“We want to get the funding that is available to do parts of the puzzle,” he said.

“I hate to see us spend money and then come back and tear it up,” said board Chairman Frank Irby. He suggested they be careful about the order in which the work is done.

This artist’s conception shows the proposal for landscaping the walking/biking path on Charles Harvey Memorial Highway.

This artist’s conception shows the proposal for landscaping the walking/biking path on Charles Harvey Memorial Highway.

“To me the sidewalk makes sense,” said county administrator Robbie Chartier. “If they do the landscaping work in the median before they widen the road, the widening work could affect the median,” she said.

In other business Thursday …

The commissioners authorized the chairman to execute a letter requesting the City of Okeechobee rename Southeast 10th Avenue to Domer Avenue in memory of Commissioner Ray R. Domer.

“I am fully supportive of this, not only for the contribution that your father made to the county but also for the contributions your grandfather made,” Commissioner Terry Burroughs told Jacob and Justin Domer, who were in attendance.

It is also a nice nod to local history, Mrs. Chartier added. Domer’s business has been on that street for 90 years.

Mrs. Chartier said the avenue will continue to go by both names, as Fifth Avenue is also known as Osceola Avenue.

Publisher/Editor Katrina Elsken can be reached at kelsken@newszap.com

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