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Roadways crisscross county 2020 map

(ran PC edition)

A revised map shows a shopping list of new roads and extensions linking to existing arteries in 20 years.

Collier Parkway Extension, Ridge Road Extension, Overpass Road Extension, Chancey Road Extension, Zephyrhills Bypass Extension.

There will be a whole lot of road extending going on in the next 20 years, according to newly revised maps endorsed by the Pasco County Development Services Department.

And it's the growing Tampa suburbs of Wesley Chapel and Land O'Lakes, home to housing developments expected to pop up on both sides of State Road 54, that should see most of the asphalt over the next two decades.

The hotspots are between the Suncoast Parkway and U.S. 41 in the west and Interstate 75 and Morris Bridge Road in the east.

"That's where the population is going. We base our projections on what is happening today," said Pasco traffic engineer Ali Atefi.

In Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills, the focus will be on building east-west roads to link east Pasco with Interstate 75 and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.

Two of the projects, which would parallel each other north of SR 54, are a Zephyrhills Bypass Extension hooking Eiland Boulevard with Curley Road and Overpass Road Extension linking Fort King Highway with I-75. The bypass, for which the county recently commissioned a study, is furthest along.

South of SR 54, the county proposes two other east-west connections: Chancey Road Extension from Morris Bridge Road to Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and State Road 56 from Bruce B. Downs Boulevard to Morris Bridge Road.

SR 56, now under construction between SR 54 in Land O'Lakes and Bruce B. Downs, would eventually extend all the way to U.S. 301.

Also on the drawing board are a north-south road planners call Wesley Lake Drive, an artery between County Line Road and SR 54 that will serve future phases of the Meadow Pointe development.

Atefi said many of those roads are in the route study phase in the hope planners can line up right-of-way before landowners develop the property for other purposes.

"It's like a puzzle game." Atefi said.

Most of those projects are still about five to 10 years away. But east Pasco residents won't have to wait for the repaving of Handcart Road from Eiland Boulevard in Zephyrhills to Prospect Road in San Antonio.

Handcart, an unpaved stretch known for its car-coating white dust, is expected to get its first lick of asphalt by early next year.

The state Department of Transportation is also planning to widen the U.S. 98 bypass on the eastern edge of Dade City from two lanes to four sometime in the next five years.

On the west side of I-75, planners have scheduled a 2002 start date for the widening and repaving of Old Pasco Road. Old Pasco shadows I-75 from SR 54 to SR 52, from Quail Hollow to Tampa Bay Golf and Tennis Club.

In Land O'Lakes, the focus will be on building a series of roads to handle the expected hordes of new residents.

The biggest project is the 8-mile Ridge Road Extension, which is supposed to be built in the next couple years to connect Moon Lake Road and U.S. 41 via the Suncoast Parkway.

Collier Parkway, which now ends at Hale Road, would snake north across Parkway Boulevard, Ehren Cutoff and the proposed Connerton New Town Development on its way to SR 52.

Atefi said Collier project is in "wait-and-see" mode pending development of Connerton, the 15,000-home development that needs Collier as one of its lifelines.

A road that planners tentatively call Vision 1 would connect SR 54 and 52 between U.S. 41 and the Suncoast Parkway.

Another street, called Wellfield Road on the maps, would start at Lake Patience Road and bend southwest to SR 54.

Other highway projects in Land O'Lakes are coming soon: The widening of SR 54 to four lanes from U.S. 41 to Cypress Creek and the widening of U.S. 41 to six lanes north of Bell Lake Road. Work on those projects could start later this year and early next year.

The county settled on the various roads improvements after whittling down projects from a billion-dollar wish list.

Among the projects that didn't make the cut: overpasses on U.S. 19 and a new east-west highway linking the Suncoast Parkway with I-75 near the Hernando County line.

The projects that survived the selection process are part of a 2020 "cost affordable" map Pasco will submit to the state Department of Community Affairs for inclusion in the county's comprehensive land-use plan.

But the process never stops. After turning in the 2020 map, planners will set to work on a 2025 map that promises even more road changes, particularly in Land O'Lakes, Atefi said.

Developers, for example, have proposed extending Sunlake Boulevard from Dale Mabry Highway in Hillsborough County to SR 54 in Land O'Lakes.

"We're probably going to relook at that area and change our network," Atefi said.