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Public to have say on road plan

The state Department of Transportation is moving forward with plans to acquire land along a 2.1-mile segment of State Road 50 set for widening within the next four years.

DOT officials expect to meet with the public this afternoon to answer questions and hear concerns about a plan to widen SR 50 from Colorado Street to Cobb Road, west of Brooksville.

Lee Royal, DOT spokeswoman, said the state may spend as much as $5.3-million to buy nearly two dozen right of way parcels on both sides of the existing road.

No homes or businesses stand in the way, said Jack Klosinski, of American Acquisition Group in Tampa. The company is hired to negotiate acquisitions for the DOT project. Klosinski said negotiations should begin within two weeks.

"It looks like there are real large tracts of land out there, but what (DOT) needs is insignificant in terms of percentage," Klosinski said. "From our perspective, it's a relatively simple and easy job."

The meeting at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall, 20021 VFW Road, could last from 4 to 7 p.m.

Construction on that segment is set to begin in 1997, Royal said, and will cost about $6-million.

About three miles of SR 50 east of Brooksville will be widened this year to four lanes, from Spring Lake Highway to just west of Lockhart Road, near Interstate 75. A contractor should be hired for the $4.4-million project this month, Royal said.