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The City of Cocoa, with assistance and guidance from the Space Coast Transportation and Planning Organization and the Florida Department of Transportation began construction on Florida Avenue in late 2016 to transform the road, located in the heart of Cocoa Village, into a Complete Street. A “Complete Street” ensures that the entire right-of-way is routinely designed and operated to enable safe access for all users (pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders).
“It is so important to plan and design facilities for all users along a roadway. That includes vehicles, transit riders, pedestrians and bicyclists. That is considered a Complete Street. The Space Coast TPO was happy to assist in the planning and funding of several complete Street projects in Brevard County including Florida Avenue,” said Georganna Gillette, Transportation Program Manager for the Space Coast Transportation and Planning Organization.
Along with the complete street project, the City of Cocoa constructed a stormwater pond near the AT&T building just south of Cocoa City Hall along Florida Avenue. This project, which was constructed on the site of a surface parking lot and former refrigeration plant, was partially funded by the Cocoa Stormwater fund, the St. John’s Water Management District, and the County’s Save Our Indian River Lagoon program and helps with stormwater runoff in a historic community that has less acreage of available pervious land area. Parts of the old refrigeration plant were maintained and used as walls for the pond.
The $3.4 million Florida Avenue project was finalized on June 9th with a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 13th and included all of Florida Avenue from SR 520 to the southern-most City limits, south of Rosa L. Jones Drive. The scope of the project included roadway reconstruction, replacing the existing water main, new sidewalk on both sides of Florida Avenue, new curb and gutters, on-street parallel parking, minor storm drain improvements, pedestrian scaled decorative streetlights, signage, landscaping and irrigation. Pervious pavers were used in this project to also help with stormwater runoff into the lagoon.
“Complete Streets play an important role in supporting vibrant, sustainable communities. This project played a significant role in Cocoa’s vision for the Cocoa Village area and the connection to the master plan developed by the Cocoa Community Redevelopment Agency. The accessibility it now provides helps to expand the footprint of the Cocoa Village area,” said Cocoa City Manager, John A. Titkanich, Jr., AICP, ICMA-CM.
During the seven month long project to transform Florida Avenue into a complete street, contractors found old Florida East Coast Railway railroad tracks running along the east side of Florida Avenue under the roads. These tracks serviced the orange groves that were lined along Florida Avenue. Pieces of the railway were preserved in our Public Works facility.
On the north side of the project is a piece of property purchased by the City (6 Forrest Ave.) for the intention of redeveloping the site into a greenspace with a Cocoa Village gateway entry feature. Development should be underway soon for this piece of property.