Old Pasco Road extension under review

A study is underway to investigate extending Old Pasco Road/Ossie Murphy Road, by adding two new roadways north of State Road 52 to east of the Interstate 75 bridge underpass.

This is an aerial view of the route study and pond siting analysis area, for the future extension of Old Pasco Road/Ossie Murphy Road. The future four-lane roadway, with bicycle and pedestrian amenities, will also include an alignment for a 12-foot bicycle/pedestrian trail that will become part of the future Orange Belt
Bicycle/Pedestrian Trail. (Courtesy of Pasco County)

Officials from Pasco County Engineering Services ultimately foresee an approximate 1.25 mile, four-lane divided urban (curb and gutter) section, whereby Old Pasco Road would stretch approximately 4,000 feet northward from the State Road 52/Old Pasco Road intersection, and Ossie Murphy Road would extend approximately 2,600 feet eastward under the recently built I-75 bridge overpass.

Ossie Murphy Road then would eventually continue eastward from the I-75 eastern right-of-way to Pasco Road, as part of the Pasco Commerce Center development.

The roadways are based on a 45-mph design speed, initially built with two travel lanes and then expanded when traffic volumes warrant in the future.

The planned infrastructure are the initial segments of a more extensive transportation network that is envisioned to run parallel to I-75 and State Road 52.

Two build alternatives have been developed for the Old Pasco Road/Ossie Murphy Road extension project, estimated to cost between $12.8 million and $13.8 million, respectively.

A no-build alternative also is an option.

The future four-lane roadway alignment will also include bicycle and pedestrian amenities.

A 12-foot bicycle/pedestrian trail would adjoin the future Orange Belt Bicycle/Pedestrian Trail, a 37-mile path stretching along an abandoned railroad line from Trinity to Trilby.

No funding has been allocated for the extension project, and a specific timeline has not been determined for construction.

The proposed plan was outlined at a public hearing on July 11 at the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church Parish Center in San Antonio. At the hearing, residents could view maps and ask questions, and submit written comments for review up until July 21.

The final route study and pond siting analysis, however, is targeted for September, to be presented to the Pasco County Commission. It will incorporate right-of-way costs, public comments and various environmental impacts, including wetland and floodplain impacts.

The study is driven by expected future development, mainly east of I-75.

“We know there’s a potential for growth here, and we want to make sure we’ve at least approved an alignment, rather than wait until somebody wants to come in and needs to do something, and we don’t have that set,” said Margaret Smith, Pasco County’s engineering services director.

The proposed plan was outlined at a public hearing on July 11 at the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church Parish Center in San Antonio.

At the hearing, residents could view maps and ask questions, and submit written comments.

“Right now very few people live up in that area, but you’ve got Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club right here, so they, of course, are concerned with what we’re doing north of (State Road) 52,” Smith explained. “It’s like you’re shaking the tree of the people that live out here, and you want to get their input, because no matter what these (estimates) look like, they may have something that throws you in a different direction.”

Published July 26, 2017

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