Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

FDOT outlines proposals for widening State Road 60 in Valrico

VALRICO — The Florida Department of Transportation outlined two road widening options for east Hillsborough County residents to consider when it shared results Tuesday evening from a State Road 60 study that aims to increase traffic capacity on a 12.3-mile stretch of road.

Armed with a video presentation and informational placards, FDOT representatives convened at the Strawberry Ridge Community Clubhouse to announce that by 2040 it expects traffic along this emergency evacuation route to increase by 54 percent to 71,000 vehicles per day from Valrico Road east to the Polk County line.

Despite not being budgeted in the current 5-year work program that runs from 2013-18, the project to increase from four to six lanes is listed as an unfunded need. One alternative is a $106.8 million plan that calls for complete reconstruction and centering of the roadway that avoids the need to acquire right of way land for the roadway. The alternative $92.7 million plan would add to the inside and outside of the existing pavement, but require additional right of way in certain areas.

Kirk Bogen, a DOT environmental project engineer, said these types of projects can take up to eight years to complete, allowing enough time for studies, design, land acquisitions and construction.

"We try to study projects before they are needed," he said.

Steve Kane, a designer working on the project, said if the costs are similar, the tendency is to avoid the extra step of having to purchase more land.

Local residents who attended were concerned with safety and quality of life.

Aaron and Doreatha Brown like that the plan calls for a bike lane and sidewalk near their Bealsville home that sits adjacent to SR 60, but worry that it is not well lit and not safe enough for the neighborhood children.

"My only concern is the speed limit is 65," Doreatha said. "We want a traffic light or to reduce the speed. It's just too fast."

"Our mailbox was hit," Aaron said, adding that "wheels come off trailers and end up in our yard."

Michele Noriega has lived for 14 years in the rural segment between Turkey Creek Road and the Polk County line where 22,000 vehicles a day passed by in 2012 as opposed to 46,000 along the Valrico stretch. Her main fear is potentially losing the natural tree line that buffers her east Hillsborough home from ST 60.

"It's inevitable," she said. "You can't stop progress."

A more formal public hearing where comments are added to the official record and a decision on how to move forward is tentatively scheduled for the summer. To find out more about the study or submit general comments before the March 28 deadline, visit tinyurl.com/p2c7av5.

Eric Vician can be reached at ericvician@yahoo.com.

FDOT outlines proposals for widening State Road 60 in Valrico 03/19/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 4:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Editorial: A proud moment for civic involvement in Hillsborough County

    Editorials

    It took private citizens less than 24 hours to do what their elected leaders in Hillsborough County could not for the past three months: Find the moral fortitude and the money to move a century-old Confederate war memorial from outside the county courthouse. Thursday's achievement was a lesson in leadership to county …

    The Hillsborough County Commission dithered for three months over moving the Memoria in Aeterna monument from the old county courthouse.
  2. Fort Myers woman arrested for doing cocaine off iPhone in parent pick-up line

    Bizarre News

    A Fort Myers woman was arrested Tuesday after police saw her snorting cocaine off her iPhone while in the parent pick-up line at a Lee County middle school.

    Christina Hester, 39, faces two different drug-related charges, according to police records. [Lee County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Tropical Storm Harvey forms in Atlantic

    Hurricanes

    UPDATE: At 5 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  4. Editorial: Pinellas should join lawsuit challenging new state law

    Editorials

    The Florida Legislature has been on a cynical, constitutionally dubious quest to render local school boards powerless. The most direct assault is a new state law that strips school boards of much of their authority when it comes to the creation and funding of charter schools. It's time for the Pinellas County School …

  5. Editorial: Fix funding unfairness in Florida foster care system

    Editorials

    Many of the children in Florida's foster care system already have been failed by their parents. The last thing these kids need is to be failed by bureaucracy, too, and yet that's exactly what appears to be happening because of a needlessly rigid funding formula set up by the Florida Legislature. Child welfare agencies …

    The Legislature may have had good intentions when it came up with the funding plan, but it’s obvious that there is some unfairness built into it. The funding may be complicated, but the goal is simple: Making sure every child in need gets the help he or she needs.