City News Blog


This is the official blog of the City of Lakeland, Florida. Check back frequently to stay up to date with all that going on in our beautiful city!

City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland's Blog

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LAKELAND, FL (February 4, 2016) - The City of Lakeland successfully hatched Australian Black Swan eggs using an incubator.  Dr. Patricia Mattson with Companion Animal Hospital said, “We are so excited because there are no documented cases of Black Swan eggs successfully incubated before now.” She added “This is a great day for the swan program and our beautiful City.” Mattson is the official veterinarian for the City of Lakeland’s swans.


The City of Lakeland purchased a Lyon incubator to assist in hatching swan eggs particularly Australian Black Swan eggs.  Steve Platt, City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Supervisor said, “Black swans are not the greatest parents.  Our birds neglect their young and don’t take very good care of their eggs.”  The incubator cost $3,500.  Platt said, “We have tried unsuccessfully with less expensive incubators but this year we had three eggs hatch.”


Australian Black Swans cost between $600-$800 per bird and the City currently has 20 black swans in its flock. The City of Lakeland purchased Australian Black Swans in the early 1990’s.  Platt said, “We are really excited because our Australian Black Swans haven’t produced any surviving offspring in the past seven years.”


Swans made their first appearance in Lakeland in the 1920s as people’s pets but by 1954 the first population of swans was completely wiped out by predators and disease. In 1957, Lakeland resident Mrs. Robert Pickhardt, who was residing in England at the time, reached out to the Queen of England to help restore the Lakeland’s swan population. According to British law, the Queen owns all of the swans along the Thames River in England.


Queen Elizabeth graciously donated a pair of mute swans from Richard the Lion-Hearted’s flock to Lakeland, provided the City would pay for the shipping and handling. The two swans adapted very well to their new home in Lakeland, where their offspring still thrives today.


Lakeland has a flock of 75 swans that live in downtown Lakeland between Lake Morton and Lake Mirror. The swan population is made up of four species: Australian Black Swans, White Mutes, South American Black-Necked Swans and White Coscoroba Swans. Lakeland is also home to many other bird species, which makes it a great attraction for bird enthusiasts. 


The City of Lakeland takes good care of its feathered friends by performing an annual “swan round up” to administer wellness exams. City workers and volunteers travel the lakes by boat and capture Lakeland’s swan population. After the birds are caught, they are placed in holding pens where veterinarians check their health before releasing them back to their water front homes.



Public Meeting to discuss My Lakeland Electric Transmission Line Replacement Project - Edgewood Drive to Glendale Street

View Project Overview

Lakeland Electric will be replacing utility poles along three roads in three phases.

Phase One will start at the substation on Glendale Street to New Jersey Road. 

Phase Two will continue on New Jersey Road from Glendale
Street to Edgewood Drive. Phase One and Two construction should be completed between March 2016 to May 2016.

Phase Three will start on Edgewood Drive from South Florida Avenue to New Jersey Road to accommodate the school schedule at Cleveland Court Elementary School. Phase Three construction should be completed between June 2016 to December 2016.

Lakeland Electric will be replacing wood utility poles with steel poles. Wood poles typically have a life expectancy of 30 years. These poles were installed in 1969. Replacing wood poles with steel poles will:

Improve strength of poles, protecting against damage due to future severe storms

Allow the use of larger wires to increase the flow of electricity

Improve reliability

The project requires heavy equipment. Traffic control is required to ensure the public’s and work crew’s safety. During the project, there will be lane and road closures which will cause some detours. Residents and business owners along the detour routes will be allowed to access their homes/businesses during the closures. Message boards and temporary road signs will be used to help inform the public.

If you have questions regarding the project, please contact Dale Tanner at 863.834.6462 or by email at


LAKELAND, FL (January 20, 2016) — The City of Lakeland will be installing new bike lanes on Crystal Lake Drive.  The project will include widening Crystal Lake Drive to accommodate bike lanes in both directions as well as upgrades to the existing storm drain system.  The project will impact Crystal Lake Drive from Lake Hollingsworth to New Jersey Road with construction starting in February.  The project is scheduled to be completed in August and all construction is proposed within public right-of-way and easements that have already been acquired.
Eastbound (Lake Hollingsworth to New Jersey Road) traffic on Crystal Lake Drive will be closed for much of the construction duration. A westbound travel lane will allow access for residents and side streets will remain open throughout construction.  Traffic desiring to travel eastbound from Lake Hollingsworth Road toward New Jersey Road or Bartow Road (US98) will be detoured north along Cleveland Heights Boulevard and east along Edgewood Drive.
The low bid for this project was $989,37.40. The scope includes the following:
·      Widening of the existing roadway from Lake Hollingsworth Drive to Crystal Lake Drive (0.33 miles) to include bike lanes in both directions.
·      Connecting the New Jersey Trail to the bike lanes on Lake Hollingsworth Drive.
·      Signal and geometric improvements at Lake Hollingsworth Drive and Crystal Lake Drive.
·      Upgrading of the aging existing storm sewer system.
·      Relocation of the sidewalk on the north side of the road.
·      Replacement of broken areas of sidewalk on the south side of the road.
·      Saving the large oak trees on the south side of the road.
Phase Two of the project that will include bike lanes and sidewalk along Crystal Lake Drive from New Jersey Road to Bartow Road (US98) is planned to start immediately following the completion of Phase One.  The tentative construction schedule for Phase Two has construction starting in July and ending in December 2016.  More details will be provided in advance of construction.  For more information on the Crystal Lake Drive bike lane project, please email
For more information regarding the City of Lakeland, please visit  Become a fan of the City on Facebook by searching City of Lakeland, FL and follow the City on Twitter @lakelandgov. Fans and followers can stay informed and engaged about events, projects, services and City initiatives.


US 98 Resurfacing Project from Fletcher Park at Lake Bonny to Lemon Street

Crews are working on a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) project to resurface US 98 (Bartow Road) from south of Dreadnaught Drive/Fletcher Park at Lake Bonny to north of Lemon Street in Lakeland.

Weather permitting; the project should finish this summer.

Work to be completed:

  • Remove existing asphalt and repave
  • Add ADA detectable warning surface to sidewalk curb ramps at side street intersections
  • Adjust manholes within the work zone
  • Modify traffic separators at Hollingsworth Road/Lake Parker Avenue, Walnut Street and Ingraham Avenue to allow more
    room at the median openings
  • Upgrade traffic signal equipment
  • Add additional school zone signs

Traffic changes during construction:

  • Paving will be done at night.
  • Lane closures are not allowed from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Posted speed limits will remain the same.
  • Speeding fines double in active construction zones.

Questions about the project can be answered by Sandra Mancil, Public Information Officer. She can be reached at 863-519-4116 or