Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Proposed I-75 interchange in Pasco clears first hurdle

WESLEY CHAPEL — Federal officials have given tentative support to a study that suggests building a new interchange at Interstate 75 and Overpass Road, the first of several steps in a long-range process to extend Overpass Road from the interstate east to U.S. 301 north of Zephyrhills.

Final approval of the study would be significant, though the process to add a new interchange could run a decade or more and involve multiple environmental and engineering studies. The project's price tag, including land acquisition, is estimated at more than $100 million.

The project is part of a broader push by Pasco County and state transportation officials to address existing and projected growth north of Wesley Chapel, an area within a so-called "urban service boundary" designated for development. The project's origin dates back more than 10 years.

Jim Edwards, director of Pasco's Metropolitan Planning Organization, said the aim is to give drivers options and ease congestion at interchanges at State Road 52, County Road 54 and State Road 56.

"It's a huge project and all indications from the DOT is it's just lacking formal approval by the feds and themselves. At this point it's more procedural," Edwards said.

The tentative support was revealed in emails a few weeks ago from the state's Department of Transportation. Formal acceptance from the Federal Highway Administration is expected within a few months, but that could be conditioned on the completion a broader environmental and engineering study looking at the Overpass Road extension. That study is due at the year's end, Edwards said.

"They might want to wait to make sure it's not an interchange to nowhere," he said.

The study, called an Interchange Justification Report, is a required first step to add on- and off-ramps to an interstate. Begun by the county three years ago, the study examined current and future growth patterns as well as the projected impacts of the ramps on interstate traffic.

Officials concede that while the project is intended to tackle growth, it's likely to spur development on its own, particularly near the ramps and at areas near Curley Road and Handcart Road.

Under the proposal, Overpass Road would extend east and southeast from Old Pasco Road to Curley Road and Handcart Road before veering northeast to Fairview Heights Road. Fairview Heights connects to Kossik Road, which connects to U.S. 301. The total distance is nine miles.

Extending Overpass Road is estimated to cost $120 million, though that could fluctuate depending on final designs and future construction costs. The interchange is estimated to cost $51 million.

Rich Shopes can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6236.

Proposed I-75 interchange in Pasco clears first hurdle 04/17/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 17, 2014 8:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Allegiant flight makes emergency landing in California after smoke fills cabin


    FRESNO, Calif. — Smoke filled the cabin of an Allegiant Air jet after it landed at a California airport on Monday, forcing coughing passengers to cover their faces with shirts and firefighters to board the plane, authorities said.

    This frame from mobile phone video shows smoke inside an Allegiant Air jet after it landed at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California's Central Valley, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. Smoke filled the cabin of an Allegiant Air jet after it landed at the airport on Monday, forcing coughing passengers to cover their faces with shirts and firefighters to board the plane, authorities said. Allegiant said no passengers or any of the six crew members were injured. [Estevan Moreno via AP]
  2. Forecast: Sunny skies, drier air dominate throughout Tampa Bay region


    Drier air continues to filter into the Tampa Bay area on Tuesday, with clear skies and a slight chance of light rain during the afternoon.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  3. Florida education news: Makeup days, graduation honors, sex education and more


    MAKEUP DAYS: Hillsborough County schools will eliminate four early release days to meet minimum state time per course, after missing seven days because of Hurricane Irma. • Indian …

    School classrooms are back up and running after Hurricane Irma. Districts are now setting makeup schedules for time missed.
  4. Rick and Tom podcast: Bucs' Gerald McCoy frustrated with disrespectful fans


    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss Gerald McCoy's latest comments on disrespectful fans who attack his teammates, Donald Trump, protests by DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans, and his respect for the …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) warms up before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  5. Tampa heading into several tough budget years

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Less pain now, more pain later.

    The Tampa City Council will hold a final public hearing on the proposed 2018 city budget and property tax rate at 5 p.m. Thursday on the third floor of Old City Hall, 315 E Kennedy Blvd.