By Kyle LoJacono
Pasco County residents should have a wider SR 54 by the end of the year, but a look into the future reveals widening for its northern counterpart as well.
While no date has been set for the future widening of SR 52, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) spokeswoman Kris Carson said the east to west road in northern Pasco will be expanded.
“No construction has been funded, but part of the groundwork has,” Carson said. “It will eventually let the road be widened from two to four lanes.”
The design of the widening has been funded between US 41 and Bellamy Brothers Boulevard. Additionally, some row acquisition has been paid for to buy private property along the state road between Bellamy and Old Pasco Road. Current FDOT statistics show about 19,300 vehicles make the trip between I-75 and US 41 each day.
Carson said that while there has been no funding secured to widen SR 52 east of Old Pasco Road to San Antonio, Saint Leo and Dade City, it was not out of the question. She said the goal for a future widening fits with the overall goal with all state roads, which is to upgrade them as increased population puts more demands on the streets.
“The department is currently finishing improvements to SR 52 between US 41 and the Suncoast Parkway,” Carson said. “That is mainly adding new turn lanes and resurfacing the road.”
That FDOT project comes with a $1.6 million price tag. Pasco is also paying for another job on SR 52 that began within the last month, according to Pasco Engineering Services Deborah Bolduc. She said that construction is adding turn lanes where SR 52 crosses Prospect Road/Happy Hills Road, also called State Highway 579A. It is also resurfacing the roadway near the intersection at a total cost of $2.9 million, paid by Penny for Pasco money.
Any job to significantly widen SR 52 would likely take much more money than the current jobs to improve the highway.
The construction for Pasco to widen SR 54 from I-75 to Curley Road in Wesley Chapel, a stretch of 3.2 miles, cost $28 million. That amount pales in comparison to the nearly $75 million needed for the row acquisition for that job, making it the most expensive project in Pasco history.
The distance between US 41 and Old Pasco is about 13 miles along SR 52.
For more information on any FDOT road project, visit www.dot.state.fl.us.