In 1914, Polk County’s roads were little more than the wagon trails used by soldiers during the Seminole Wars. They were made of dirt and clay. So, Polk County residents formed a “Good Roads Association” to sponsor a $1.5 million bond issue for roadway pavement.
With the passage of the bond, Polk County contracted for 217 miles of asphalt highways. This was the largest construction project of its kind in the south and it linked every major Polk city.
By the early 1920s, the county had 326 miles of paving, at a cost of $3 million.
With the advent of paved roads, however, came potholes. Polk County has been patching and filling holes or severe cracks in pavement with hot asphalt or cold patch ever since.
Fast forward to present-day Polk County, where the Roads & Drainage Division supervises the maintenance of nearly 2,700 miles of county roads.
Not all Polk County roads are maintained by the county. There are also city and state roadways within the county’s boundaries. Cities manage about 1,280 miles of roads, which is less than half Polk County’s inventory, while the Florida Department of Transportation manages around 461 miles of paved roads in Polk County.
To find out if your road is maintained by the county, call the Roads & Drainage Division at (863) 535-2200.