The Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) board has approved the 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan that includes numerous projects that are expected to be pursued within a 20-year time frame.
“The goal is to develop [a] cost-affordable plan that covers a minimum of 20 years through the planning process,” Wally Blain, of Tindale Oliver, told the MPO board during a Dec. 11 meeting at the Historic Pasco County Courthouse.
The 2045 plan is a revision of the 2040 plan. It prioritizes road in greatest need.
The long-range plan is updated every five years and is subject to revision.
Its feasibility is determined by what funds are allocated on the federal, state and local levels.
The planning process also included a public comment period, from Nov. 6 to Dec.6.
“More than 2,500 residents of Pasco participated in those and provided input on the transportation planning process,” Blain noted.
One comment noted that trucks are traveling faster on Ehren Cutoff, since the road’s shoulders were expanded. Another cited a lack of north-south improvements in Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills compared to east-west improvements. And, there was a suggestion for a train service to connect Pasco County with Orlando and Tallahassee.
While the feedback was noted, priority road improvements must be dealt with first, Blain said.
The 2045 plan includes changes in the way revenues are distributed for transportation-related improvements.
The 2045 plan contrasts to the 2040 plan as follows:
- Funding for roadway capacity rose from 64% to 71%
- Funding for transit decreased from 25% to 9%
- Funding for sidewalks and bicycle facilities increased from 1% to 2%
- Funding for technology/congestion management rose from 1% to 3%
- Funding for roadway maintenance rose from 9% to 14%
Projects in the 2045 plan include:
- Widening of State Road 52 to four lanes, from U.S. 41 to Old Pasco Road
- A one-way pair conversion, along U.S. 301
- Widening of U.S. 301 to six lanes, from Eiland Boulevard to Kossik Road
- Widening of Old Pasco Road to four lanes, from Wesley Chapel Boulevard to State Road 52
- Widening of Overpass Road to four lanes, from Interstate 75 to U.S. 301
- Extending Tower Road to U.S. 41
The Vision 54/56 project has $600 million for improvements, but specific changes have yet to be determined.
“State Road 54 is a key corridor that the MPO has taken as a priority in this plan, as well as the 2040 plan,” Blain said.
The MPO has been working along with the Florida Department of Transportation to address the issue.
The state transportation department is conducting an evaluation to determine potential improvements at the intersection of U.S. 41 and State Road 54.
The approved long-range transportation plan will be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation. These agencies utilize the adopted plan to implement numerous federal and state-funded transportation projects in Pasco County.
In addition to long-range planning, Blain also covered a number of projects that are ongoing and committed in the five-year plan, which runs through 2024.
- Widening of State Road 52 to four lanes from the Suncoast Parkway to U.S. 41
- Widening U.S. 41 to four lanes, south of State Road 52
- Ridge Road extension from Moon Lake Road to the Suncoast Parkway (The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit to begin work on the project on Dec. 20)
- Construction of a new State Road 52 alignment, east of Interstate 75 to Clinton Avenue
- Construction of an Interstate 75/Overpass Road interchange.
- Widening of Collier Parkway to four lanes, from Bell Lake Road to Parkway Boulevard
Published December 25, 2019