Those interested in the future of the intersection of U.S. 41 and State Road 54 are invited to attend a public meeting this week to discuss possible options for improvement.
The Florida Department of Transportation’s District Seven is hosting the meeting, which is set for Sept. 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Keystone Community Church, 21010 State Road 54, in Lutz.
Virtual attendance also is available, but registration is required to participate online.
To register, visit the project’s website: https://active.fdotd7studies.com/sr54/us41-at-sr54/.
The FDOT is holding the workshop to give people who are interested the opportunity to provide comments concerning the traffic patterns, design, and social, economic and environmental effects of the proposed improvements.
In addition to the intersection of State Road 54 and U.S. 41, the project study will include areas adjacent to the intersection along the two major roads, according to FDOT materials.
State Road 54 is one of two existing major east-west arterials connecting eastern Pasco County to western Pasco County.
The need for this project has been established based on future traffic demands, future population and employment growth in the area, according to FDOT materials.
Improvements at the U.S. 41/State Road 54 intersection are included in the Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) 2035 Cost Affordable Long Range Transportation Plan, as well as the 2035 Regional Long Range Transportation Plan Needs Assessment, which was developed by the West Central Florida MPO’s Chairs Coordinating Committee.
The purpose of this study is to identify and evaluate various alternatives for the U.S. 41/State Road 54 intersection, which will improve the flow of people and goods through the project area by increasing roadway capacity and reducing traffic congestion.
The study will compare the effects each alternative may have on the environment and the surrounding communities, as well as the traveling public, according to FDOT materials.
Across Pasco County, State Road 54 provides connections to several regional north-south routes including U.S. 19, the Suncoast Parkway, U.S. 41, Interstate 75, U.S. 301 and U.S. 98, the FDOT materials note.
“The proposed improvements at the intersection of U.S. 41 and State Road 54 will enhance the overall transportation network linking Pasco County with the Tampa Bay region,” according to FDOT materials.
The options being considered are:
- Alternative 1: A single-point urban intersection (SPUI), providing an interchange with State Road 54, elevated over U.S. 41.
- Alternative 2: A parallel flow intersection (PFI), providing displaced left-turns, in all four approaches at grade.
- Alternative 3: A continuous flow intersection (CFI), with elevated lanes of State Road 54 over U.S. 41, providing displaced left-turns in all four approaches.
There also is a no-build alternative.
Department representatives will be available at the in-person public workshop beginning at 5:30 p.m., to answer questions and discuss the project informally.
Draft project documents and other project-related materials also will be displayed, and a PowerPoint video presentation will run continuously during the workshop.
State Road 54 runs east-west, and had an average daily traffic count of 63,000 in 2019, according to FDOT figures; U.S. 41 runs north-south, and had average daily traffic counts of 69,000 in 2019.
In addition to existing traffic, there’s significant growth underway in Central Pasco, with more on the way. Plus, State Road 54 is an evacuation route when hurricanes threaten.
In evaluating alternatives, the state looks at the improvements based on such issues as traffic operations, safety, right of way needs and environmental impacts, among others.
Once a build alternative is selected, the next phase is the Project Design & Environmental (PD&E) Study phase, and then the design phase.
The PD&E would be conducted in 2021 to 2022; design, from 2022 to 2024; right of way acquisition from 2025 to 2026.
Construction of this project is not yet funded, according to the project web page.
Published September 15, 2021