A new traffic signal has been installed and is now operating at Eiland Boulevard and Handcart Road, and another traffic signal installation is underway at Eiland Boulevard and Geiger Road.
A ribbon cutting for the traffic signal at Eiland and Handcart is scheduled for Aug. 23 at 9 a.m.
The installation of that light was completed in time for the 7 a.m. start of the school year on Aug. 13.
“It’s been a very dangerous intersection,” said Pasco County Commissioner Ron Oakley.
A new signal is expected to be operating at Eiland and Geiger by late November.
The traffic volume along Eiland Boulevard has been increasing as the county experiences more development, Oakley said.
The Eiland and Handcart intersection is among three that Oakley said were priorities.
In addition to the Eiland traffic signals, a third one is planned at Chancey Road and Coats Road. That signal will be operating in late October.
And, along with the traffic signal, Eiland and Handcart had other improvements, including guardrails and road resurfacing.
Pasco County completed a 30-day traffic operations study at the intersection to collect traffic data.
The analysis showed that the traffic signal was warranted “based on Handcart (Road) southbound approach volumes and the amount of left turn vehicles turning east onto Eiland Boulevard.”
The study also found that two crashes occurred from Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2013. The crashes “may have been prevented with the installation of a traffic signal,” the study found.
From Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2014, the study also documented two angle crashes that occurred at the intersection.
However, the number of crashes alone didn’t indicate a “historic trend,” or meet national standards of five or more angle crashes that could be prevented by installing a traffic signal.
The Pasco County Commission approved the design plans for the project in 2016. Construction began in March 2018.
By Kathy Steele
Published August 22, 2018