Thursday, April 08, 2010

Wesley Chapel Road Projects Meeting Update

As expected, the Wesley Chapel road project meeting today at 5:30 p.m. was filled with interested residents and it was standing room only. I estimate a couple hundred people were in attendance!  Most of the meeting dealt with the newest project; the widening of SR 54.

Here are the highlights from the meeting.  They were kind enough to provide us with a handout on SR 54 but not on the other road projects.

I-75 overpass bridge & CR 54:

Work on the I-75 bridge will provide for 9 lanes under the bridge; six through lanes and 3 turn lanes.  Work expected to be complete the end of 2010.  Also, the I-75 bridge work to accommodate future six lanes on the interstate even though there currently is no funding in place for widening I-75 to six lanes at SR 54.

SR 54 from I-75 to Curley Road: 

Work to consist of widening the current two lane undivided road to six lanes divided with turn lanes.  The first six months will consist of private utility relocation.  Then construction will begin and should take an additional 15 months.  Estimated construction cost = $28 million with an estimated project completion of January 2012.  The speed limit during construction will be reduced to 35 MPH.  (I wonder how often you can go over 35 MPH now on this portion of SR 54!)  Pasco County Engineering Services Director, James Widman pledged public update meeting every three months or so, media releases during construction, and additional periodic updates e-mailed to those requesting updates from the county.
Some additional work will be done on CR 54 from Old Pasco Road to I-75 and will be completed in 6-9 months.

I-75 to Saddlebrook:  The east bound lanes will be built on the south side of the existing roadway.  (Note, you will notice a difference in elevation on the new road as the "footprint" will be raised about 2 feet and as much as 5 feet in some sections.)

Saddlebrook east to Curley Road:  Westbound lanes will be built on the north side of the existing roadway.  Also, Boyette Road will be rerouted to remove the "S" curve.

Other road projects:

SR 54 widening from Curley Road to Morris Bridge Road: "Don't hold your breath for this one folks!" Plan is to go to six lanes from Curley to Meadow Pointe Blvd., and then to four from M. Pointe Blvd. to Morris Bridge Raod. Start acquiring right of way in 2013/2014? No funding for right of way! Construction maybe in 2018, but currently not funded.

SR 56 extension from Mansfield to Meadow Pointe Blvd.:  Lots of FRUSTRATION expressed over this repeatedly delayed extension.  Recently a new contractor was named.  Anticipate the opening of this portion of the extension in July; some say beginning; some say end of July, 2010.  Based on the numerous delays over the years on this extension, I think you can comfortably count on it being open this millenium!  (More on this to be addressed in the Bruce B. Downs widening below.)

Bruce B. Downs Widening: 

From SR 54 to SR 56: Six lane widening with an estimated completion--May 2010!  (I wonder if I heard that wrong!)

From SR 56 to County Line Road--There still remains an unresolved issue with TECO regarding the cost to move utilities at the planned mega intersection of SR 56 and Bruce B. DownsThe situation between the county and TECO sounds ugly!  Attorneys, etc.  County Commissioner Mulieri expressed exasperation!  This unresolved issue has gone on for months and months.  The local media needs to jump on this and try to get to the bottom of this nonsense!

I-75/I-275 Northbound exit ramps to SR 56:  (Dedicated exits for each interstate)  Work is underway Expected completion--Summer 2011.

I-75 widening from Bruce B. Downs to SR 56 to six lanes :  Start:  Summer, 2011, Construction cost = $37 million.

I-75 widening to six lanes from SR 56 to SR 54:  Design, 45% complete.  No funding for right of way purchase or construction.

In the future, I wish that all speakers, (County & FDOT) would provide copies of their power point presentations.  A handout was provided for some of what was presented on SR 54, but not on the other road projects.  (Also, I thought it was very wise that they had law enforcement directing traffic into and out of the meeting site onto/from SR 54.  Someone was thinking ahead!)

I don't have any additional information from this meeting.  If you have additional questions or want other information not listed above, please contact Pasco County Engineering Services:  (727) 834-3604.  Regarding SR 54 widening, you can e-mail Project Manager, John Chiarelli at    Interstate road projects website: .


Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking your time to cover this meeting. You should pass the TECO issue over to the local New Tampa/Wesley Chapel reporters at the Tampa Tribune and SP Times so it can be brought to the forefront.

Russ Perlowski, People's Choice Realty said...

Members of the local press read this blog, so they probably have read my comments about the Mexican standoff between Pasco Co. and TECO over the SR 56/BBD intersection. We'll see if they follow up on it with a more in depth piece.