By Kyle LoJacono
The $3.67 million project to improve the Suncoast Parkway interchange at SR 54 is set for completion on schedule by the end of July, according to Pasco County Chief Project Manager Robert Shepherd.
“The project was needed to help prevent backups on SR 54 in both directions,” Shepherd said. “We’re adding turn lane storage, which means more turn lanes for drivers getting onto the Suncoast. That will take them off the main lanes for people going straight, so they don’t block traffic.”
The project is on the border of Land O’ Lakes and Odessa and is being paid for by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as stimulus money, funneled through the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The department is handling the project management and field inspection.
The job began last July and is being completed by Ajax Paving Industries of Florida.
Shepherd said there are some other minor improvements being done to SR 54 as part of the project, including road resurfacing.
FDOT statistics show 37,500-46,000 vehicles make the daily trip through the project zone on SR 54, while another 24,500-32,600 drivers travel over the construction on the Suncoast. Additionally, 3,800 vehicles use the Suncoast on/off ramps at SR 54 daily.
For more information on Pasco road projects, visit portal.pascocountyfl.net. For news on other FDOT projects, visits www.dot.state.fl.us.
W. Lutz-Lake Fern Widening
The project to widen W. Lutz-Lake Fern Road from just east of the Suncoast Parkway to the Boulevard of the Roses continues to progress.
The $9.9 million project, which is being completed by Pepper Contracting Services, is making Lake Fern a four-lane divided roadway. The project was originally planned for completion by the end of May.
The job is the second step in a three-phase plan to make Lake Fern four lanes from the Suncoast Parkway to Dale Mabry. The last step of the project is still unfunded and would not happen for likely some time, according to Hillsborough Public Works spokesperson Steve Valdez.