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Commissioners approve list of road projects for transit tax referendum

TAMPA — Slowly they creep, inch by inch.

Hillsborough County commissioners ticked another item off their transit tax referendum to-do list Thursday by approving a list of road projects that would accompany new rail lines and bus service.

The list includes projects large and small, ranging from widening Lithia Pinecrest Road from State Road 60 to Fishhawk Trails Drive, at a cost of $161.3 million, to four-laning Cross Creek Boulevard near Morris Bridge Road, for $4.5 million.

It reflects changes made at the request of some commissioners, who objected to any of the money being used to speed up work on roadways that developers are obligated to build in southern Hillsborough. Those projects, including widening stretches of Big Bend Road, are no longer on the list.

The cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace also have projects included, but the bulk of the money will go toward county-owned roads, at least for the first 10 years.

Commissioners must still debate how to prioritize the work. That will happen in coming weeks.

Thursday's 5-2 vote simply approved the road projects in no particular priority order. Commissioners Al Higginbotham and Jim Norman voted against it, as both oppose the referendum generally.

"They adopted the list, and now we need to prioritize it," said Lucia Garsys, administrator for planning and infrastructure.

Commissioners have tentatively approved asking voters in November if they would support raising the sales tax by a penny to build and run a local commuter rail system, expand bus service and build roads. Seventy-five percent of the proposed tax would go toward the transit part, the rest toward roads as a sweetener to residents who may not live near proposed rail lines.

The road list was approved with little discussion. Commissioners did debate how difficult to make it to change the road list after the referendum. As it stands now, commissioners would have to hold a public hearing before voting to make a change.

Commissioner Kevin Beckner led board members who argued for a more difficult hurdle as an assurance to residents that the roadways scheduled for improvements won't be modified willy-nilly in the future. He was particularly concerned about road work that developers are obligated to complete getting put back on the list in the future.

"I just don't want to have a situation where they're not there now, and then somewhere down the road they're starting to resurface," Beckner said.

Norman, who despite his stated opposition has been active in trying to shape the content of the referendum, argued the need for flexibility in the future. He asked, what happens if the county lands a top economic development prospect that needs new road work in order to open business in Hillsborough?

"If you all pass this tax, there will be no more money available ever from any place — this is it," Norman said. "That's why you need some flexibility."

Bill Varian can be reached at varian@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3387.

Approved Road Plan

Roadway Description Referendum Funding

Bruce B. Downs Boulevard Widening (Bearss Ave. to County Line Rd.) $18,000,000

Lutz Lake Fern Boulevard 4 Lanes (Blvd. of the Roses to Dale Mabry Hwy.) $16,600,000

Van Dyke Road 4 Lanes (Tobacco Rd. to Whirley Rd.) $50,000,000

Citrus Park Drive Extension 4 Lanes (Sheldon Rd. to Country Way Blvd.) $56,000,000

Intersection Projects Intersection Improvements Countywide $76,000,000

Lithia Pinecrest Road 2 Lanes (S.R. 60 to Lumsden Rd.) $8,300,000

4 Lanes (Lumsden Rd. to Bloomingdale Ave.) $82,000,000

4 Lanes (Adelaide Ave. to Fishhawk Trails Dr.) $71,000,000

Sub-total $161,300,000

I-75 South County Interchange County share only. Explore location, feasibility, and partnership w/FDOT. $35,000,000

U.S. 301 S.R. 674 to Balm Rd.; Total estimate is $50,000,000; It is expected to be a 50/50 cost sharing w/ FDOT. $25,000,000

22nd Street Main Street Project (Fletcher Ave. to 131st Ave.) $3,600,000

Town N Country Main Street Project Paula Dr. (Town N Country Blvd. to Hanley Rd.), Ambassador Rd. (Powhattan Ave. to Hillsborough Ave.) $3,500,000

Brandon Main Street Main Street Project Pauls Dr. (S.R. 60 to Feeder Rd.) $7,600,000

Cross Creek Boulevard 4 Lanes (Cory Lake Blvd. to Morris Bridge Rd.) Contribution to the City of Tampa. $4,500,000

Westshore Boulevard 6 Lanes (Gray St. to Boy Scout Blvd.) $23,000,000

Sun City Center Roadway Improvements Repair existing sidewalk fall hazards at stormwater inlet locations. Repair of roadway regional drainage system. Potential Golf Cart Lanes. $8,000,000

Gornto Lake Rd. Extension 4 Lanes (Town Center Blvd. to S.R. 60) $8,000,000

I-75/Gibsonton Dr. Interchange Improvements FDOT project to improve access ramps. Estimates are preliminary. Possible cost sharing with FDOT. $25,000,000

I-75/Big Bend Rd. Interchange Improvements FDOT project to improve access ramps. Estimates are preliminary. Possible cost sharing with FDOT. $40,000,000

19th Ave. and Shell Point Rd. Resurfacing and addition of paved shoulders/bike lanes (U.S. 301 to EG Simmons Park; 32nd St. to 21st St. and connectors) $9,000,000

Big Bend Road 6 Lanes (I-75 off-ramp to Simmons Loop Rd.) $5,500,000

Countywide Paved Shoulders/Bike Lanes $12,500,000

Sub-total $588,100,000

Plant City Priorities

Alexander Street Extension 4 Lanes (I-4 to Paul Bauchman Hwy.) $35,000,000

Sam Allen Road 4 Lanes (Alexander St. to Park Rd.) $44,400,000

Turkey Creek Road 3 Lanes (Airport Rd. to Sydney Rd.) $4,670,000

Sub-total $84,070,000

City of Tampa Priorities

22nd Street 3 Lanes (Fowler Ave. to Riverhills Dr.) $11,000,000

22nd Street 3 Lanes (Hillsborough Ave. to 21st Ave.) $9,800,000

7th Avenue 3 Lanes (22nd St. to 50th St.) $8,000,000

Sub-total $28,800,000

Temple Terrace Priorities

Downtown Redevelopment Street Main Street (Bullard Parkway to Chicago Ave. and Chicago Ave. from 56th St to Springdale Pl.) $1,500,000

78th St. Reconstruction Harney Rd. to Temple Terrace Parkway $3,000,000

Neighborhood Area Streets Reconstruction Three neighborhood areas north and south of Bullard Parkway $1,600,000

56th Street Sidewalks Fowler Ave. to Fletcher Ave. $1,900,000

Telecom Parkway Extension Present terminus to Morris Bridge Rd. $1,000,000

Sub-total $9,000,000

Annual Transportation Operations and Maintenance Safety, Pavement, and Maintenance Management TBD

Total $709,970,000

Note: All figures are in 2010 dollars.

Source: Hillsborough County Public Works Department

Approved road plan

Hillsborough County Commissioners voted Thursday to fund more than 30 road-improvement projects with revenue from a proposed penny sales tax increase. The projects would cost more than $700 million. The annual transportation operations and maintenance safety, pavement and maintenance management is to be determined. All figures are in 2010 dollars.

Hillsborough County priorities

Subtotal $588.1 million

Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, widening Bearss Avenue to County Line Road, $18 million

Lutz Lake Fern Boulevard, Boulevard of the Roses to Dale Mabry Highway, $16.6 million

Van Dyke Road, Tobacco Road to Whirley Road, $50 million

Citrus Park Drive Extension, Sheldon Road to Country Way Boulevard, $56 million

Intersection Projects, intersection improvements countywide, $76 million

Lithia Pinecrest Road, SR 60 to Lumsden Road, $8.3 million; Lumsden Road to Bloomingdale Avenue, $82 million; Adelaide Avenue to Fishhawk Trails Drive, $71 million

I-75 South County Interchange, County share only. Explore location, feasibility, and partnership with FDOT, $35 million

U.S. 301, SR 674 to Balm Road; total estimate is $50 million; It is expected to be a 50-50 cost sharing with FDOT, $25 million

22nd Street, main street project (Fletcher Avenue to 131st Avenue), $3.6 million

Town 'N Country, main street project Paula Drive, (Town N Country Boulevard to Hanley Road), Ambassador Road, (Powhattan Avenue to Hillsborough Avenue), $3.5 million

Brandon Main Street, main street project Pauls Drive (SR 60 to Feeder Road), $7.6 million

Cross Creek Boulevard, Cory Lake Boulevard to Morris Bridge Road. Contribution to the city of Tampa, $4.5 million

West Shore Boulevard, Gray Street to Boy Scout Boulevard, $23 million

Sun City Center Roadway Improvements, repair existing sidewalk fall hazards at stormwater inlet locations. Repair roadway regional drainage system. Potential Golf Cart Lanes, $8 million

Gornto Lake Road Extension, Town Center Boulevard to SR 60, $8 million

I-75/Gibsonton Drive Interchange Improvements, FDOT project to improve access ramps. Estimates are preliminary. Possible cost sharing with FDOT, $25 million

I-75/Big Bend Road Interchange Improvements, FDOT project to improve access ramps. Estimates are preliminary. Possible cost sharing with FDOT, $40 million

19th Avenue and Shell Point Road, Resurfacing and addition of paved shoulders/bike lanes (U.S. 301 to EG Simmons Park; 32nd Street to 21st Street and connectors), $9 million

Big Bend Road, I-75 off-ramp to Simmons Loop Road, $5.5 million

Countywide Paved Shoulders/Bike Lanes, $12.5 million

Plant City priorities

Subtotal $84.07 million

Alexander Street Extension, I-4 to Paul Bauchman Highway, $35 million

Sam Allen Road, Alexander Street to Park Road, $44.4 million

Turkey Creek Road, Airport Road to Sydney Road, $4.67 million

City of Tampa priorities

Subtotal $28.8 million

22nd Street, Fowler Avenue to Riverhills Drive, $11 million

22nd Street, Hillsborough Avenue to 21st Avenue, $9.8 million

Seventh Avenue, 22nd Street to 50th Street, $8 million

Temple Terrace priorities

Subtotal $9 million

Downtown Redevelopment Street, Main Street (Bullard Parkway to Chicago Avenue and Chicago Avenue from 56th Street to Springdale Place),

$1.5 million

78th Street Reconstruction, Harney Road to Temple Terrace Parkway, $3 million

Neighborhood Area Streets Reconstruction,Three neighborhood areas north and south of Bullard Parkway, $1.6 million

56th Street Sidewalks, Fowler Avenue to Fletcher Avenue, $1.9 million

Telecom Parkway Extension, Present terminus to Morris Bridge Road, $1 million

Source: Hillsborough County Public Works Department

Commissioners approve list of road projects for transit tax referendum 03/25/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 26, 2010 12:46am]

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