A project is set to begin in mid-March that’s aimed to improve traffic flow at the intersection of State Road 54 and U.S. 41.
Lanes are being modified to provide more room for motorists who are turning left off State Road 54 to head north on U.S. 41, and those turning right off State Road 54 to go south on U.S. 41.
“There is no widening involved with this project, just lane modification to help alleviate congestion turning north and south onto U.S. 41,” explained David Botello, public information specialist for the Florida Department of Transportation.
Motorists heading east on State Road 54, who intend to turn right or left onto U.S. 41, are sometimes blocked from entering their turning lanes.
That’s because the traffic builds up at the intersection’s traffic signal.
During the first phase of construction, pavement will be removed and new pavement will be installed.
“No lanes will be closed during the day, so traffic should not be significantly impacted,” Botello assured.
No lane closures are expected, but if any do occur, they would be done at night to avoid impacts during peak traffic hours, he said.
Sidewalks and crosswalks are to remain open, and the CSX railway company will provide a railroad crossing flagger at the intersection.
The project also includes reconfiguring the median at State Road 54 and Hunt Road.
The new median will have a separator — which will allow eastbound motorists to turn left onto Hunt Road, and left turns off of Hunt Road onto State Road 54.
U-turns will no longer be permitted for westbound traffic at this median.
The project is expected to cost an estimated $1.1 million, with completion set for this coming summer.
Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey has been an adamant supporter of the project, which has been in planning for several years.
“This is a temporary solution, but it’s something that won’t take long to implement,” she remarked. “I do believe people will see some relief.”
The commissioner also credits Pasco County Attorney David Goldstein with helping her make the proposal come to fruition – stating it was a team effort.
In addition to being a part of the Metro Planning Organization’s Long Range Transportation Plan, the project is one of the first implementations of Vision 54/56.
The Vision program considers long-term improvements on the State Road 54 and State Road 56 corridor – spanning from U.S. 19 to Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.
For current updates and visual schematics, visit tinyurl.com/yyzangk9.
Published February 20, 2019