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News Story
Updated: 02/06/2014 08:00:04AM

U.S. Highway 17: Progress in plain sight

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ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com

Going ... going ... gone! The Hi-Way Motel on U.S. Highway 17 south was demolished this week to make way for the four-laning of the highway from Nocatee to the city limits. Although construction will not begin on this stretch for several years, Florida Department of Transportation says it likes to clear the right-of-way early in the work.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com

The Knights Inn, on U.S. 17 at the southern city limits, will lose all the rooms now parallel to the highway frontage, but roooms in the back will be spared and the motel remains open. In preparation for razing these rooms, they were gutted and usable fixtures and furniture removed.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com

Fender's Auto Parts is relocating from Nocatee to the property formerly occupied by Horizon Coach on U.S. 17. The property is being prepared for the eventual move.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com

The Circle K South was closed up a few weeks ago. This building and the row of shops beyond it in the photo will be torn down in advance of the widening of the highway from Nocatee to the Arcadia city limits.

MAP PROVIDED BY FLORIDA DEPT. of TRANSPORTATION
This map highlights a portion of U.S. Highway 17 to be widened, near the Arcadia southern city limits. To make room for the four-laned highway, several structures are being torn down, including parts of the Knights Inn, the Circle K South, and the Hi-Way Motel.

By Steve Bauer

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If you’ve driven south on U.S. 17 in Arcadia the past two weeks, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the first tangible signs of the widening project that has been slowly making its way through DeSoto County the past few years. In the span of a week, familiar sights like the Circle K south gas station, Knight’s Inn hotel and the Hi-Way Motel have been closed or torn down.

According to Debbie Tower, communications director for the Florida Department of Transportation, the moves are part of FDOT’s clearing of rights-of-way it has acquired for the widening project. “This is a very early phase in the entire process, where we have appraised and acquired property and are now clearing any structures that need to be removed.”

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