A realignment study of the U.S. 301/U.S. 98/Clinton Avenue intersection in Dade City has begun – with an eventual alternative corridor to be placed in the vicinity.
This comes as Pasco County has seen a need to ease the flow of traffic and to reduce the number of accidents where these roadways meet.
As a part of the study, the public is encouraged to weigh in with comments or concerns – which could help determine the project’s end result.
An open meeting was held on June 20 at the Dade City Hall Council Chambers to initiate public feedback.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the H.W. Lochner organization are working together on the project.
The study areas that the two departments are looking at range from:
- The U.S. 301/U.S. 98 intersection to the west
- Clinton Avenue to the north
- Old Lakeland Highway to the east
- U.S. 98 to the south
At the meeting, department officials explained the aim of the project and encouraged feedback from citizens, as well as city and county officials.
“This is a two-part study,” explained Brian Shroyer, FDOT project manager. “Where (U.S.) 98 comes into (U.S.) 301, there’s about a 1,600-foot offset to (Clinton Avenue) and there are issues with that intersection.”
There were 110 crashes within the study area between 2013 to 2017, according to the presentation.
The report also showed the density of accidents that occurred at the U.S. 301/U.S. 98 intersection, which continued north along the offset before reaching Clinton Avenue.
However, the majority of accidents took place at the intersection with Clinton Avenue. It accounted for mostly rear-end and angular vehicle-to-vehicle impacts.
Kevin Connor is the senior environmental manager at Lochner. He said that under current road models, traffic on U.S. 301 between U.S. 98 and Clinton Avenue will only increase.
In conjunction with the Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization, FDOT and Lochner are in the planning phase of development.
In this phase, an Alternative Corridor Evaluation is done to identify various corridor routes to take into consideration.
“We’re going to collect all the existing environmental and engineering data for the area,” Connor explained. “We’ll use that information to develop potential corridors.”
Possible impacts to residential and commercial buildings, as well as wetlands, will be a part of the information that’s collected.
Current FDOT findings show that environmental effects, due to the project, would be little to none.
The next phase, the Project Development and Environment Study, would look at the road width, number of lanes, sidewalks and trails that may be necessary.
At present, there are plans to widen U.S. 301 from four lanes to six lanes within the study area.
Bonnie Burton was one of the local residents at the meeting. While she stated that the installation of traffic lights at the U.S. 301/U.S. 98 intersection made her feel relieved, she still voiced concern about turning southeast.
“As a person who frequently makes that turn heading south on (U.S.) 301 and making a left onto (U.S.) 98, it feels a lot safer in a lot of ways, but it feels banked wrong,” the Dade City resident said. “Unless you’ve come to a complete stop and that light is on green, you attempt to make that and you’re often in the wrong lane.”
In response, Shroyer stated that the engineering study would analyze that issue. He also noted that additional traffic lights and roundabouts could possibly be factored into the project.
With designs and right of way acquisition yet to be planned, construction may not begin for another four years to five years.
Public feedback will be open and welcomed through the remainder of the year. Another meeting to update the public is expected in December.
For additional information or to send comments, contact Brian Shroyer by emailing or by visiting FDOTd7Studies.com/US301US98INT/.
Published July 03, 2019