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Lakeland's new 'Intelligent Rail Bypass System' relieves congestion

Posted: 1:44 PM, Jul 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-11 17:56:43-04
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LAKELAND, Fla. — Lakeland drivers will soon be able to choose to wait for a train or take a detour before it even begins crossing.

The Intelligent Rail Bypass System is being tested Thursday in the busy downtown area of Lakeland. It was requested as part of the Polk Rail Study in 2014.

The Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) is a Florida Department of Transportation project and is designed to alert drivers of an alternate route when a train will be crossing their path momentarily.

The new system begins to notify drivers at the same time as the railroad crossing warning devices are activated. The Intelligent Rail Bypass System is installed at Florida Avenue between Main Street and Pine Street. Once the system is activated signs light up and point drivers to alternate paths.

According to the City of Lakeland, motorists traveling North are guided to Lime Street then to Side Boulevard and other drivers going south are detoured to US Highway 98/George Jenkins Boulevard then to Side Boulevard where they can travel underneath the railroad service.

The city says this is the only bypass system anticipated for Lakeland at this time.