Workshop focuses on East Pasco

Pasco County Commissioners met in a workshop session with local municipal leaders on the afternoon of April 2 to discuss a number of projects that are planned or under discussion in East Pasco County.

Projects that were discussed included:

  • A roundabout at the intersection of State Road 52, College Avenue and Pompanic Street
  • An extension of Morningside Drive in Dade City
  • A drainage fix in downtown Dade City
  • The extension of State Road 56 to Chancey Road
  • The widening of County Road 54, from U.S. 301 to 23rd Street

Discussion regarding the City of San Antonio focused on an intersection, where State Road 52 meets College Avenue to the west and Pompanic Road to the north.

Pasco Board of Commissioners and municipal officials met on April 2 in a workshop setting to discuss a number of current and proposed projects in East Pasco County. (Brian Fernandes)

Efforts have been taken to address the San Antonio intersection, which has been a place of confusion for motorists and an area that has been prone to accidents.

Those problems persist despite the installation of stop and yield signs, and caution lights.

To address the continuing problem, the Metropolitan Planning Organization has suggested installing a roundabout at the intersection.

“Essentially, we’re at a stage where some design has been undertaken,” said John Villeneuve, MPO director. “This is something that will assist in facilitating safety and more maneuverability.”

While the project has been well-received by the board, no start date has been given.

Meanwhile a number of proposed or active Dade City projects were discussed.

One of those projects involves extending Morningside Drive, from U.S. 301 to Fort King Road.

Dade City Mayor Camille Hernandez has advocated for the MPO to put the project on a list for funding.

An alignment study has been conducted on the development, but funding needs to be in place to proceed to the next phase.

The potential benefits of the connection are already recognized locally.

It would boost economic development and would provide direct access off U.S. 301 to AdventHealth Dade City, said Mike Sherman, city planner for Dade City.

Joseph DeBono, Dade City’s director of public works, discussed Dade City’s downtown drainage issues.

Dade City, he said,  “has been plagued for years with a major drainage issue.”

He told those gathered that a stormwater retrofit project is the solution.

The project involves installing a new sewer system of more than 2,400 linear feet with various street drains. The collected water would run underground heading east to the U.S. 98 bypass, eventually being dumped into Irvin Pond.

That project, which may be completed during the summer of 2020, is receiving funding from the city, the state and the Florida Department of Transportation.

In Zephyrhills, there’s a proposal to extend State Road 56 to Chancey Road.

Construction already is underway to connect State Road 56, from Meadow Pointe Boulevard in Wesley Chapel to U.S. 301 in Zephyrhills.

But, Zephyrhills officials are looking into the possibility of later extending the state road further east to Chancey Road.

Todd Vande Berg, director of planning for Zephyrhills, brought schematics to the workshop and talked about the link’s potential to encourage increased industrial manufacturing, add jobs and boost the local economy.

The planning director also provided an update on plans to County Road 54 from U.S. 301 to 23rd Street.

The city had planned to widen that stretch of the road to four lanes, but those plans were halted because of conflicts with the local school district and efforts to obtain right of way, Vande Berg said.

The present plan keeps the road at two lanes, but adds turn lanes and pedestrian improvements, the director added.

The joint workshop between county commissioners and municipal officials was held at Pasco-Hernando State College’s East Campus.

Published April 10, 2019

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