Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bloomingdale area gridlock solutions in the works

Hillsborough County's new fiscal year arrives Oct. 1 with hope for traffic-jammed motorists on county roads.

Growing sales tax revenue and rising home values have generated increased property tax revenues available for projects to widen roads, add turn lanes and resurface pavement.

A new policy requires big project developers to help pay some of the cost of road improvements needed to handle the additional traffic.

The Bloomingdale area, embroiled over a proposed big box development, landed two of the biggest projects, both designed to increase the capacity of major roads that become hopelessly clogged daily.

The Bloomingdale Avenue intersections at Bell Shoals Road and Culbreath Road have been tagged for improvements.

Both intersections share the same problem: too many cars and too little asphalt, specifically, both lack enough left-turn lanes to keep vehicles from backing up into the through lanes, resulting in gridlock.

The county plans to add eastbound and westbound left-turn lanes at the Bloomingdale–Bell Shoals intersection at a cost of $4 million. A similar project at Bloomingdale and Culbreath will cost $1.5 million.

Commuters worry about getting to work on time and the long lines of traffic coming home, but merchants near the Bloomingdale-Bell Shoals intersection sometimes fret that traffic will scare away customers.

"A significant number of people say it's too hard to get in and out in rush-hour traffic,'' says Linda Dehring at Greg's Hallmark in Bloomingdale Square Plaza.

"But I think people time their visits."

At the Green Boutique, a locally owned retail shop in the Plaza Bella Shopping Center, owner Roz Creager says, "It's intimidating for people to make turns in heavy traffic."

Traffic congestion in Valrico and Bloomingdale became a big issue for residents fighting a proposed retail "big box'' development earlier this year.

County Commissioner Ken Hagan pushed for the county to dedicate all developer transportation mitigation funding from the project to improve traffic congestion around the site.

Last week, Hagan said he moved to dedicate the $1.5 million from big-box developers for the Bloomingdale- Culbreath Road intersection.

But motorists shouldn't start looking for bulldozers and asphalt in the next few weeks, said Michael Williams, the county's director of engineering and environmental services.

A few projects are under way, such as an extension of Telecom Parkway to Morris Bridge Road, which was started by the city of Temple Terrace.

But most projects, like the Bloomingdale-Culbreath Road intersection, must start from scratch with basic engineering and land acquisition.

"It could take a couple years,'' to start construction, Williams said.

New Transportation Projects

A partial list of new Hillsborough County transportation projects for the 2014 fiscal year

131st Street: Study widening to four lanes $200,000
Bearss at Bruce B. Downs: Study adding additional eastbound right lane $800,000
Bloomingdale at Bell Shoals: Add eastbound and westbound left turn lanes $4 million
Bloomingdale at Culbreath Road: Add eastbound right turn lane, westbound and northbound left turn lanes$1.5 million
Courtney Campbell Causeway: Pedestrian/bike enhancements $1.253 million
Orient Road Improvements: Study widening to four lanes $200,000
Skipper/46th Street from Bruce B. Downs to Fletcher: Corridor improvements $2 million
Telecom Parkway Extension: Extend roadway to Morris Bridge Road $750,000

Bloomingdale area gridlock solutions in the works 09/11/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 2:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. How to make a Strawberry Banana Smoothie


    Don't enjoy breakfast but need to get something in your stomach? Cranky around 3 p.m. and need a jolt of energy? Have trouble getting your daily recommended fruit servings? This smoothie is the cure for all of that and more. It's become my morning go-to. The secret ingredient here is kefir, a probiotic product that's …

    Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.
  2. How to tell if the price is right on your next prescription


    Filling a prescription is no longer the simple errand you run after a doctor visit.

    Photo illustration. []
  3. Rubio to Seminole County GOP: 'America is going to be okay'


    Sen. Marco Rubio delivered a reshaped stump speech Tuesday night to the Seminole County GOP, touching on many of the same points he made as a presidential candidate but adapting it to the tumultuous politics of the moment.

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami.
  4. Dad's app freezes your child's phone until your texts are answered

    Human Interest

    Parents of teens know how vital cell phones can be when they need to reach their kids — especially during an emergency.

    Nick Herbert, who lives in the United Kingdom, grew tired of his teenage son ignoring his texts, so he made an app to fix the problem. ReplyASAP takes over the phone's screen, overrides any silent functions and sets off an alarm, essentially forcing teens to respond to their parents in order to regain access to their phones. [Screengrab from website]
  5. Related Group breaks ground on complex at old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Miami-based Related Group has broken ground on a 400-unit apartment complex planned on the site of the former Tampa Tribune building in downtown Tampa.

    From left, Related Group executive associate Arturo Penaa, Jorge Perez, center, founder and CEO of the Related Group, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Steve Patterson, the President of Related Development dig their shovels  during the groundbreaking ceremony of the 400 unit Riverwalk Manor apartment complex on site of the old Tampa Tribune building on Wednesday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]