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 email@example.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
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
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
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
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
Annual Transportation Operations and Maintenance Safety, Pavement, and Maintenance Management TBD
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),
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