It turns out that Old Pasco Road won’t be widened before the Rooker industrial park is allowed to open, after all.
When Pasco County approved an economic deal with Rooker Properties LLC, based in Atlanta, it included a condition that issuance of certificates of occupancy would be contingent upon a segment of Old Pasco Road being widened to four lanes.
Rooker’s property is at 7012 Old Pasco Road and 7529 Old Pasco Road, about one-third of a mile south of the intersection of Old Pasco and Overpass roads. It’s also near the new Overpass Road/Interstate 75 interchange.
The county’s agreement with Rooker called for the widening of Old Pasco Road, from the south entrance of the industrial park to Overpass Road, before the site could be occupied.
That requirement was lifted by the Pasco County Commission in a unanimous vote on March 21.
The board’s action supported a staff recommendation, which was based on a request from Rooker.
Pasco County’s engineering services department has reported that the Old Pasco segment widening project has been added to the county’s five-year capital improvement plan and that funding for the road widening project’s design, permitting and construction is in place.
The widening is expected to be completed around October of 2024.
Meanwhile, Rooker has informed the county that it is nearing completion of the business park’s first industrial building, of about 187,000 square feet, and it expects to need its first certificate of occupancy around April 1.
During the widening work on Old Pasco Road, a temporary access plan will be used to allow vehicles to safely enter and leave the industrial park.
While approving its staff’s recommendation, the county board supported Commissioner Seth Weightman’s request that the county provide a traffic management plan to keep motorists safe, during Old Pasco Road’s widening.
Weightman characterized the Rooker deal as a “great project for the county.”
But he said he wants to ensure the county does whatever it can do to prevent any potential accidents.
County Administrator Mike Carballa said he appreciates “Commissioner Weightman’s concerns, and the public’s concerns, over safety during construction.
“Our engineering services team does take safety seriously.
“I have spoken to the county engineer and the project engineer to ensure once we have the contractor onboard that we need to discuss safety, even if it costs a little bit more or takes a little bit more time, that we’re ensuring that the job is done safely and within best practices,” Carballa said.
Published March 29, 2023