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Forum to address Race Track Road

Oldsmar residents and business owners will get a chance Thursday night to learn more about plans to widen Race Track Road from two to six lanes.

Hillsborough County engineers are holding a public meeting at Farnell Elementary School to answer questions about three of the four phases in the planned $39-million project.

"This is a chance for people who live in the area to hear where we are, where we are going and also give us their input," said Jeff Herndon, a manager in the county's public works department.

Construction on the road, stretching from Douglas Road to Linebaugh Avenue, will start early next year, Herndon said. The rest of the project will start in earnest in 2005, Herndon said, and could be completed in 2006.

Herndon said it would take Hillsborough County more than a year to acquire all of the right-of-way needed to finish the project, which is 60 percent designed. Much of the land needed to widen the road directly north of Tampa Road remains privately owned. Construction cannot begin until all of the right-of-way is secured.

When finished, the plan calls for widening Race Track, which is currently a two-lane road, to six lanes from Tampa Road to Linebaugh Avenue.

That route is traveled by 22,500 cars a day.

The road from Linebaugh to Countryway Boulevard will become four lanes.

The northernmost section of road, ending at S Mobley Road, will be widened but remain two lanes, Herndon said.

_ Aaron Sharockman can be reached at (727) 771-4303 or asharockmansptimes.com.

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