During a recent transportation Zoom briefing with the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Thibault, secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation, provided an overview of projects that are in various stages of progress in Pasco County.
Here’s a recap of information from his PowerPoint presentation and of his comments, project by project.
Diverging Diamond, at State Road 56
Project description: Converts from a standard diamond interchange to a diverging diamond interchange
- Ongoing work is occurring on all four quadrants of the interchange.
- The traffic pattern shift will occur this fall.
- Project cost: $33 million
Estimated completion: Late 2021
Thibault’s comments: “The DDI (Diverging Diamond Interchange) was chosen for this interchange to increase safety and capacity, through an increased number of lanes; improving pedestrian facilities; more efficient signal timings; and, reducing vehicle conflicts.
“Work is occurring on all four quadrants, rebuilding the interchange ramps.
“Work is taking place in the median of the existing State Road 56 bridge over Interstate 75.
“Various traffic shifts are taking place and will continue to take place on State Road 56, on both sides of Interstate 75, as the contractor builds the improvements necessary to make the conversion to the diverging diamond configuration.
“Traffic is anticipated to be switched to the new diverging diamond pattern in the fall of 2021.
“The current estimated completion date is later this year.
“As many of you know, this project has overcome some errors and periods of insufficient resources by the contracting team, but milestones have been met related to the project completion, to ensure that sufficient progress is being made.
“The department understands that this is an important corridor in Pasco County and will continue our efforts to guide the contractor to complete the project, as quickly as possible.”
- Project cost: $42.5 million
- Estimated completion: Late 2021
Thibault’s comments: “Widening of State Road 54, as shown here in this aerial from Curley Road to Morris Bridge Road, will widen the roadway from two lanes to a four-lane highway, with a median. Long stretches of new roadway are currently in use, with bi-directional traffic shifting either to the future eastbound or westbound pavement. Drainage, roadway and utility construction continues throughout the project area.
“Additional traffic switches will be coming, as new roadway segments are completed.
“In addition, a sidewalk will be built on the north side of the road, and a 10-foot-wide, multi-use trail will be built on the south side.”
- Overpass Road will be widened from two lanes to four lanes, between Interstate 75 and Old Pasco Road. It will be widened to six lanes, from I-75 to Boyette Road.
- Project cost: $64 million for this design-build project
- Estimated completion: November 2022
Thibault’s comments: “This design-build project is to construct a new interchange approximately 3 ½ miles, south of State Road 52 in Pasco County.
“Overpass Road is closed, between Boyette and Old Pasco roads. It’s scheduled to reopen in February of 2022.
“Blair Drive has been realigned to connect with Old Pasco Road. McKendry Road has been realigned to connect with Boyette.
“The entrance to Wesley Chapel District Park from Overpass Road has been permanently closed.
“The entrance ramp construction has begun on all four quadrants.
“The project is progressing well.
“The new diamond interchange will include a flyover ramp for westbound Overpass Road access onto southbound I-75.
State Road 52, near U.S. 41
Project description: Widening of State Road 52, from the Suncoast Parkway to east of U.S. 41.
Widening State Road 52 to a six-lane divided highway; includes the widening of U.S. 41 approaching State Road 52, in each direction
- Project also consists of building stormwater ponds, installing drainage pipes, building roadway base and relocating utilities.
- Project cost: $49.7 million
Thibault’s comments: “This is close to a $50 million project and the estimated completion is February of 2023, which is currently ahead of schedule that’s posted on the project website.”
U.S. 41, north of Connerton
Project description: Widening of U.S. 41, from north of Connerton to State Road 52, widens U.S. 41 into a four-lane divided highway
- Project cost: $16.8 million
- Estimated completion: February 2023
Thibault’s comments: “The project clearing is almost completed.
“Utility relocation and erosion control measures are underway.
“The drainage and excavation activities are set to begin shortly.
“Again, currently ahead of the schedule posted on the project website.”
- Miles of new roadway have been constructed.
- A lane reduction recently has been put in place along eastbound State Road 52, from I-75 to allow for construction at the west end of the project.
- Project cost: $81.4 million
- Estimated completion: August 2023
Thibault’s comments: “It is progressing well and is slightly ahead of schedule.”
Published May 12, 2021