Construction has restarted on a widening project on State Road 54, from east of Curley Road to east of Morris Bridge Road.
Cone & Graham has been awarded the contract to complete the project.
It began work on Jan. 10. Activities in the first few weeks will involve cleanup, surveying, and other tasks needed to safely resume construction, according to the Florida Department of Transportation’s District 7 website.
The $42.5 million project involves widening the existing two-lane road to a four-lane road with medians, the website says. A sidewalk will be built on the north side of the road and a 10-foot wide multi-use trail will be built on the south side.
The work stopped after the original project contractor notified FDOT on July 28, 2021, that it was stopping work on the project. The FDOT declared that contractor in default on Aug. 3.
FDOT projects have contract bonds issued by a surety company, which is a contract requirement. The surety company was required to obtain a completion contractor, which is Cone & Graham.
In other transportation-related news, a 4.2-mile section of the Ridge Road extension is now open, from Moon Lake Road to the Suncoast Parkway.
The other two lanes of the initial segment are expected to be finished later this year, and the second leg of the extension will extend the road to U.S. 41 in Land O’ Lakes.
That is expected to be completed in 2025, but could be done sooner if efforts by Pasco County leaders to seek $14 million in state funding during this legislative session are successful.
During the county board’s Jan. 11 meeting, Commissioner Mike Moore told his colleagues that he’d been up to Tallahassee to advocate for support for the funding and said he would be making another trip there to continue the push.
At the same meeting, County Administrator Dan Biles told the board that the northbound ramps onto Ridge Road should be open in February.
“We’re working on getting some equipment in place. As soon as the southbound ramps were open, we wanted traffic on it. So, that’s why there’s a different timeline for both of those,” he said.
He expects that segment of the road project to be completed in either late summer or the fall.
Biles said he hopes the county will be able to go out to bid for the extension over to U.S. 41 later this year.
However, Biles noted: “That will depend on whether or not we get part of the legislative ask, to help accelerate that piece.”
Published January 26, 2022
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