Old State Road 54 widening will ease East Pasco congestion

Work is underway to widen Old State Road 54, from Wesley Chapel to Zephyrhills, from a two-lane road to four lanes.

The 4.5-mile widening, which started in November 2017, will ease congestion between Curley and Morris Bridge roads.

The project will create a more consistent flow of traffic, as Old State Road 54 is a six-lane road, west of Curley Road.

Efforts to expand a portion of Old State Road 54 from Wesley Chapel into Zephyrhills, can be seen from this aerial view. What is now a two-lane road, will become four lanes – east of Curley Road to east of Morris Bridge Road. (Courtesy of Florida Department of Transportation)

“You have multiple lanes, multiple directions to the west,” said Zach Stringer, project administrator for the Florida Department of Transportation. “Where it’s previously reduced down to two lanes, that’s where we’re continuing multi-lanes with divided medians.”

Stringer added that the expansion will also accommodate increased traffic on Morris Bridge Road with the extension of State Road 56, which is another project that is also underway now.

The construction on Old State Road 54 will first prioritize the completion of two south-end lanes heading eastbound, two north-end lanes heading westbound and then incorporating a median in between.

The median will offer several openings to allow motorists to make necessary turns.

In addition, a north-end sidewalk and a 10-foot-wide multipurpose trail on the south end, will be built along the project’s entire stretch on Old State Road 54.

The project administrator said currently “we’re doing Phase 1A, which is constructing temporary asphalt to the south and short portions of temporary asphalt to the north for drainage crossovers.”

Short-term asphalt placement allows space for traffic diversion.

With additional space, workers can install and connect drainage pipelines from the north end to the south end of Old State Road 54.

The second phase is also in the works, as well, Stringer said.

On the evening of March 19, eastbound and westbound traffic was shifted further south to construct the two-lane expansion of the north end.

Future lane closures will be scheduled at nights and early mornings to avoid conflicting with heavy traffic hours.

The closures on open stretches of road will be from 8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., while those at signalized intersections will be between 10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.

The $42.5-million development is slated for completion during the summer of 2021.

Published April 03, 2019

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