Pasco County commissioners favor a pair of road projects for segments of Curley Road and Prospect Road that are aimed at handling more traffic in a rapidly developing area of the county.
The roadwork is part of a network of projects, by the county and the Florida Department of Transportation, to improve connectivity with State Road 52, Clinton Avenue, Curley and Prospect roads.
In the next 20 to 30 years, traffic counts in the area are expected to triple, according to data from the road studies.
Road widening, realigned designs, and a roundabout are on the drawing board.
County commissioners reviewed two traffic studies and voted on recommended projects at their March 14 meeting in Dade City.
An open house for the Prospect Road/Happy Hill Road Route Study was held in 2017 and was attended by more than 50 people.
County commissioners considered four construction alternatives, as well as a no-build option.
One alternative shifted the road east; another went west; a third also went west, but with a roundabout. A fourth modified the westward option with the roundabout to avoid taking right of way from properties on the east side of Happy Hill Road.
The County Commission approved the modified option, as recommended by HDR, the study’s consultants.
The adjustment to Happy Hill eliminated seven parcels from a potential list of right of way purchases. Consultants said that was possible only with a roundabout.
An initial design with bicycle lanes striped off on the road shoulder and 5-foot sidewalks didn’t please Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey.
She asked consultants to consider a multi-use trail, on at least one side of the road, and to think about a link with the proposed Orange Belt trail. The bicycle lanes would be insufficient, she said.
“That doesn’t work for our families,” Starkey said. “They’re just not going to put their kids on the road.”
By 2041, traffic is expected to triple to about 24,000 vehicles per day, according to the study.
County commissioners also looked at two alternatives recommended in the Curley Road North Route Study.
The study was initially done in 2005, but was updated last year by URS Corporation Southern. It looked at Curley Road, from north of Wells Road to north of a realignment of State Road 52.
One alternative widened Curley Road to four lanes by acquiring right of way on both sides of the road, but generally follows the existing route. The second took a major share of right of way from the east side of Curley Road, from Wells Road to Kiefer Road. From there to McCabe Road, right of way would come from both sides of Curley, with the four-lane segment transitioning to two lanes north of McCabe Road.
Recommendations also were made on traffic signals versus a roundabout where Curley Road, Prospect Road and Mirada Boulevard meet.
Mirada Road is a new road that is part of the master-planned community of Mirada, which is within the Connected City corridor.
More than 60 area residents attended an open house in 2017 to look at maps, and offer public comment.
County commissioners opted for the second alternative, and the roundabout.
Published March 28, 2018