Saturday, June 5, 2021

1950s - New Roads Lead to Home

S. R. 50 and U. S. 27

   Lacy Day Edge, referred to as the "Father of the Department of Transportation", influenced the building of Highway 50 through Groveland.

   Prior to 1955, the route of Highway 50 was quite different. Highway 50 followed much of the same route as the railroad. Before 1952, it was too difficult to build a road across the swampland between Sumner Lake in Groveland and Lakes Minneola and Minnehaha in Clermont. Upon leaving Groveland, instead of heading due East towards Clermont, Highway 50 went North (behind today's Groveland Publix) across the Palatlakaha River and around Lake Minneola, then circled back down to where Washington Street intersects what would become U.S. 27 in later years. Highway 50 continued on until eventually reaching downtown Winter Garden. Until 1925, this was the only route to Orange county called the Minneola-Oakland-Winter Garden Road. This roadway is known today as Old HWY 50.

   In 1955, with the advancements in road construction, it was now feasable to construct a shorter direct pathway across the swamp to Clermont.
   The brand new roads S.R. 50 and U.S. 27, were a major hub for the state of Florida that intersected in Clermont. The first overpass dates to around 1968. Before then there was no overpass, with both roads being just two lanes and never a traffic jam.



[Contributors: Jason Brown]

[Sources: "Clermont Gem of the Hills A History of Clermont, Florida, and Neighboring Communities", Miriam W. Johnson & Rosemary Y. Young]

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