Pasco advocates for additional lanes on I-275

The Pasco County Commission last week emailed a letter to the Hillsborough County Commission asking that board to support a regional approach to transportation.

Specifically, the Pasco commissioners want the Hillsborough board to support the Florida Department of Transportation’s request for an additional lane in each direction on Interstate 275, from north of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to south of Bearss Avenue.

The state transportation department has requested the general use lanes in a proposed amendment to the Hillsborough Metropolitan Long Range Transportation Plan.

The lanes would be built within the existing right of way of Interstate 275.

All five Pasco commissioners support the DOT’s request.

“Adding these general use lanes is an important priority to help the flow of people and commerce throughout region,” states the June 4 letter, signed by all five members of the Pasco County Commission.

“Not moving forward will have a detrimental effect on the proposed regional Bus Rapid Transit project. As you are aware, this project also is a priority of the Tampa Bay Transportation Management Area Leadership Group,” the letter adds.

The issue came up during the Pasco board’s June 4 meeting, when they expressed concerns about the possibility of the project being derailed.

They decided that a letter was needed to ensure that Hillsborough’s board was aware of Pasco’s position on the issue.

They noted that the amendment to the long-range transportation plan is needed for DOT to move forward on the project.

Hillsborough’s commission was expected to take up the issue at its June 11 meeting, after The Laker/Lutz News’ press deadline.

Published June 12, 2019

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