New development is changing the landscape in northeast Pasco County.
And, road projects – both state and local – are seeking to address road widenings and intersection improvements to handle a growing volume of vehicles along State Road 52, and its offshoots.
Residents had a chance on Dec. 6 to review proposals for road work on Curley Road, including its intersections with State Road 52, Prospect Road, and the future Mirada Boulevard.
New developments along Curley include Epperson, with its Crystal Lagoon, the future Mirada master-planned community, and the Villages of Pasadena.
Pasco County officials were available to answer questions about Curley. Residents also could leave written comments.
Pasco County commissioners are expected to get a report on the study in January. However, no funding is available for either design or construction of the project.
Work is not likely for several years.
“There may be further appropriations for improvements, but we don’t know yet,” said Panos Kontses, a Pasco County project manager.
The Curley Road Route Study Re-evaluation is an update of a study done in 2005, before new development began sprouting along Curley Road.
The original study reviewed Curley Road, from north of Wells Road to north of a realignment of State Road 52 that will link with an extension of Clinton Avenue. The new focus looks at one segment of the study from north of Tindall Boulevard up to the realigned state highway.
Pasco officials also sought comments on whether residents preferred traffic signals or roundabouts at intersections.
“I hate seeing (development), but you’re not going to stop it,” said area resident Jimmy Smith. “I’m just here seeing what they’re offering.”
In general, Smith said road plans seem to come too late and can’t keep up with growth.
“They’re always backwards, the cart before the horse,” he said. “I just don’t have too much faith in how they’ll do the engineering,” he added.
Longtime resident Margaret Beaumont worried about where the county would take right-of-way. They should do so where there is more vacant land, and fewer businesses and homes that would be displaced, she said.
She also added: “I don’t like roundabouts.”
Resident John Gassler is worried that the Knights of Columbus building on Curley Road could lose frontage to right-of-way, or possibly even lose the building itself.
But, as a former Hollywood (Florida) resident, he doesn’t object to the roundabouts. Hollywood had three of them, and he became accustomed to driving through them, Gassler said.
According to county data, 27 parcels to 30 parcels would be affected by the project, with one business or two, and between four to seven homes needing relocation.
Estimated construction costs range from about $32 million to more than $35 million.
Before the county gets to Curley Road, the Florida Department of Transportation will begin construction on about 7 miles of the realigned State Road 52. That work should begin in fall 2019 and be completed in 2021.
The project will build a new four-lane road from Uradco Place to Prospect Road/Happy Hill Road, with two additional lanes added from Prospect and Happy Hill to west of Fort King Road. New traffic signals, a 7-foot bicycle lane, 6-foot sidewalk and 10-foot multi-use trail extending to Curley Road also will be built.
Pasco County is expected to contribute more than $4 million toward right-of-way purchases for a total project cost of more than $107 million, according to county records.
Published December 13, 2017