New interchange expected to ease traffic on area roads

Plans are underway to build an interchange connecting Overpass Road to Interstate 75 in Wesley Chapel, and the project is expected to have a flyover ramp.

The ramp would grant access from westbound Overpass Road to southbound Interstate 75.

The Overpass Road bridge runs east-west above the interstate, which runs north-south.

Richard Moss is the director of transportation development for the Florida Department of Transportation District 7, who is overseeing the project.

Overpass Road, which runs above Interstate 75, will soon have a flyover ramp to connect the two roadways. (Brian Fernandes)

He was present at the Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) board meeting to explain the development before board members, on Aug. 8.

“That flyover would process a lot more traffic going southbound (on Interstate 75), so it’s a much better design,” Moss said.

This in turn, would help alleviate congestion on main corridors, such as State Road 52 to the north and State Road 54 to the south, the director added.

Construction along Overpass Road would run from its intersections with Old Pasco Road and Boyette Road – a distance of roughly 1 mile.

Overpass Road bridge will need to be remodeled to accommodate the interchange.

“There’s an existing bridge out there,” Moss said. “We’re going to demolish that and it will be a full new interchange.”

Additional lanes are being added to Overpass Road, too.

The stretch from Old Pasco Road to I-75 will be expanded to four lanes; I-75 to Boyette Road, will be six lanes.

And, Blair Drive and McKendree Road, which both run off of Overpass Road, will undergo realignments.

Blair Drive will be disconnected from Overpass Road and will extend southwest to intersect with Old Pasco Road.

McKendree Road also will disconnect from Overpass Road. It will turn eastward, running parallel to Overpass Road before moving up northward and temporarily connecting with Boyette Road.

Future plans call for Boyette Road to extend north, where it will eventually intersect at another end of McKendree Road.

Pasco County and FDOT are operating under two agreements to acquire the necessary land for the project.

Right of way is being acquired for properties on both sides of Overpass Road, west of I-75. It also is being acquired along the west side of I-75, just south of Overpass Road.

A contractor will be selected for the project by Spring 2020, at which point the state transportation department will enter into a design-build contract.

“We anticipate that, being roughly about 800 days to construct,” Moss said. “You’re looking at probably about three years out and that interchange will be open.”

He also noted that there may be a six-month to eight-month gap between hiring the contractor and beginning construction.

The project will cost approximately $70 million and is expected to be completed by 2023.

Published September 18, 2019

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