RIVERVIEW — Sharon Osborn can't imagine driving through a roundabout on Riverview Drive.
From her home, the busy road is her only access to U.S. 301.
But as the Mosaic Co. moves forward with plans to build a 35-home subdivision near their houses, Osborn and her concerned neighbors won't have to imagine anymore.
"Anyone who lives on Riverview Drive has to use 301 to go to the bank and do our shopping," Osborn said. "We already have four curves in the road, and now they want to put in a roundabout? They're wanting to change everything for 35 homes. What about the rest of us?"
In 2007, the phosphate company rezoned 28 acres it owns along the Alafia River for the River Grove subdivision. With no set time line for development, the group plans to market the unmined land as waterfront living.
Mosaic spokesman Russell Schweiss said the company wants to have the right zoning for development in place.
In June, Mosaic was back before Hillsborough County commissioners seeking permission to change part of its original plan and add a roundabout at the entrance. Commissioners unanimously approved the company's request.
Schweiss explained that an engineering study deemed the circular traffic device the safest way to enter and exit the neighborhood.
Once development begins, the County's Public Works Department must also approve any changes to the road, which it maintains.
"We know that some of the neighbors are concerned about the traffic and (high rate) of speed on the road," Schweiss said. "But this would slow down (cars)."
The company has also made it a point to stay in touch with neighbors as it designs the roundabout, Schweiss said. Mosaic also contacted adjacent property owners as required by the county.
But Osborn and her neighbors think a roundabout will create more havoc on a two-lane road that is already labeled "substandard" because of increased traffic. They constantly pass people pushing their cars out of ditches or other residents' front yards.
"We know to drive slow," Osborn said. "Others don't."
Ron Goodsell agrees. He lives near the future subdivision and can't imagine how all the traffic will react to a roundabout. County records show that an average of 7,000 vehicles travel on Riverview Drive a day.
"I just hope they do their best," Goodsell said.
Chandra Broadwater can be reached at [email protected], or 661-2454.