Public has voice on private road
The Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) received a proposal from a private company to build elevated express lanes on State Roads 54/56 from U.S. 19 to U.S. 301. At this time, the private company has been approved to study only the feasibility of the project. This includes determining the impacts to surrounding communities.
In the second part of this process, the public is encouraged to voice its opinions about the project at one or more of three public meetings along the corridor. At each of these meetings, residents will have the opportunity to get a better idea of what the proposed project could look like. The meetings will take place this summer.
Based on public input, alternatives will be considered. The current concept could be revised to incorporate more of a ground level facility, sections of the project could be omitted, or the choice could be made to not build the proposed project.
The DOT will not move forward with any proposal without public support and a resolution by the Pasco County Commission endorsing a specific project proposal. In short, your voice matters.
Kris Carson, Florida Department of Transportation, Tampa
Questions dog elevated road idea
I realize that a "no-cost-to-the-state" $2 billion elevated toll road is very tempting. However, I believe there are some not-so-appealing considerations
Do we need an elevated highway in a County that is prone to sink holes? Local businesses will be bypassed by the traffic.
There will be a construction mess and more traffic problems for who knows how many years that the road is being built.
What would the tolls be and who would control the increases? Is the toll road justified and would people pay the tolls or use the existing and free State Road 54/56. What happens if the road is built and it does not get the use predicted? Is the state or county stuck with an elevated elephant?
It would be an eyesore not to mention create privacy issues for people living nearby.
Considering these aforementioned problem areas, highway overpasses or light rail connecting east and west Pasco to Tampa makes more sense. Don't forget public transportation.
Raymond Kobasko, Wesley Chapel
Ridge Road plan caught in politics
Pasco is back at it again. Instead of allowing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to judge the Ridge Road Extensions on the merits of its application alone, the county is trying to politicize the process. Having already spent $255,000 on wheel greasers in the first go round with nothing to show for it, they intend to waste even more money for an unwarranted road. It already has a $9.6 million price tag without the first shovel of dirt being turned. Imagine how many of the county's hundreds of miles of dirt roads that would have paved.
The idea that a Ridge Road Extension would serve as a hurricane evacuation route is absurd as the road will only take you to the Suncoast Parkway, which goes west toward the coast in both directions, and to U.S. 41 where one would have to go north or south to State Road 54 or SR 52 further exasperating that gridlock. It is hollow justification for destroying the Serenova Preserve.
Clay G. Colson, Land O'Lakes