By Brian Yogodzinski
The Alafaya Trail widening project lane shift on May 18th created a visual impairment issue for drivers exiting from the Shops of Eastwood. The plaza being referenced has the businesses of Eastwood Dental, Orlando Metro Gymnastics, and Eastwood Animal Hospital and many more.
The issue was due to two contributing factors: road elevation differences and barrel placement. The roadway from the plaza to Alafaya Trail is below the elevation of the new road surface. The east edge of Alafaya Trail was lined with barrels. Because of the elevation difference, many drivers were not able see the traffic on Alafaya Trail because of the location and height of the barrels given a driver’s field of vision. While traveling in a car such as a mini-van, it was just barely possible to see the tops of the approaching cars on Alafaya Trail. In a smaller car like a Prius, it was not possible to see the approaching vehicles on Alafaya Trail.
The crew that set the barrels and then checked their work was most likely not aware of the issue because they would have checked their work while riding in a truck. A typical truck would have put them at an elevation that would be above the barrels.
The County was contacted and the issue has been improved. The optimistic view is that the County will document this issue as a lessons learned so that the situation will not occur on other parts of this project or on other future projects.
Brian Yogodzinski is a Mechanical Engineer from North Carolina State University with 25 years of experience, primarily in the power generation business. During that time he became a specialist in the area of Transportation Engineering for the movement of over-dimensional and over-weight components such as power plant generators, combustion turbines, and steam turbines, with typical components ranging from 110,000 pounds to 1,000,000 pounds. He has extensive experience working with state and local authorities to ensure regulation compliances and safe transit of these commodities in the public domain. He currently works for a firm that builds equipment for and constructs power plants.