Watergrass residents are continuing to push Pasco County to make more road improvements to reduce safety concerns in their area.
Some residents appeared before the Pasco County Commission, during the public comment section of the Sept. 5 board meeting, urging the board to take action.
The Watergrass area has been dealing with increased traffic since a new interchange opened at Overpass Road and Interstate 75.
Residents have called for road improvements to provide more options for motorists entering into their community.
One Watergrass resident, who lives on Summerglade Drive, told the county board she expects additional issues to result from the construction of a new development called Vida’s Way.
Pulte Homes has announced plans that it will be building a development on more than 332 acres of land in Wesley Chapel, which is less than five miles away from State Road 54 and State Road 56, and is close to Interstate 75.
It plans to build 700 homes in the first phase of its development, according to information previously provided to The Laker/Lutz News.
The Watergrass resident addressing the board said she’s concerned about impacts from construction trucks traveling into the area while the project is being built.
She said conditions already are hazardous.
“On a daily basis, it’s taking your life into your hands, coming out of this neighborhood,” she said.
“How do we slow down the traffic on Overpass (Road) so people start thinking about the people that live in this community?” she asked.
She added that accidents occur, as motorists try to get ahead of each other, and that fire trucks aren’t able to get through when traffic is backed up.
“There’s nowhere for people to pull off,” she said.
She said the county needs to do more to address infrastructure needs, as growth continues.
“We need to get serious at looking at all of this development.
“How can we do this so it’s thoughtful and it’s not just to generate new tax revenue from new houses being built?”
Another resident expressed similar concerns.
She predicted that thousands of construction trucks will be headed to Vida Way, as that project is being built.
“Right now, the only way in, is going down Overpass (Road) and down Watergrass Parkway,” she said.
The community is “begging and pleading” that the county fast-track projects that are already planned in the area.
Pasco County Commissioner Ron Oakley, whose district includes this area, asked county staff to bring back “some answers that are more concrete (regarding traffic problems in Watergrass) than have been given, so we all know how the traffic is going to flow.”
He added: “We need to do everything we can to get a resolution in there that will satisfy those citizens along that way.”
County Administrator Mike Carballa told the board: “We are probably looking for a developer-in-kind project going on out there. We’ll talk with the team, figure out what the challenges are and we’ll see how we tackle them.”
Commissioner Seth Weightman told Carballa: “Whatever relief we can get there would be fantastic.”
Published September 20, 2023