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Hillsborough County wants your ideas on Big Bend Road safety

The wider road would include shared paths for bicyclists and pedestrians, along with other enhancements.
Hillsborough County wants to hear the public's ideas on safety improvements to  Big Bend Road. Shown here is the intersection with U.S. 301.  TIMES (2018)
Hillsborough County wants to hear the public's ideas on safety improvements to Big Bend Road. Shown here is the intersection with U.S. 301. TIMES (2018) [ BY SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADA | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published May 21
Updated May 21

Hillsborough County wants to hear from the public on how to make one of its busiest thoroughfares safe for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

The county is seeking public input on the design and environmental study of the proposed Big Bend Road widening that is to include new shared-use paths for pedestrians and bicyclists as well as mid-block crossings for pedestrians.

The county project calls for widening Big Bend Road, from four to six lanes, from Covington Gardens Drive west to U.S. 41 and a second segment from Simmons LoopRoad east to U.S.301.

The Hillsborough Commission recently voted to add the project to its transportation improvement program to be considered by the Transportation Planning Organization. The estimated construction cost is $28 million, but the project is unfunded.

Related: Commissioners wonder: How do we pay for transportation?

Between those two project segments, the state Department of Transportation and the county are partnering on construction of the new $97 million Interstate 75 interchange, exit 246, at Big Bend Road. That project, which also includes a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, includes widening the segment of Big Bend Road between Covington Garden Drive and Simmon Loop Road.

Construction on the new interchange is anticipated to begin later this year, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Residents and commercial property owners can review the proposed design changes and offer comments May 27 to June 7 at HCFLGov.net/HCEngage. The online feedback is replacing the more traditional in-person public informational meetings.

Questions in English or Spanish about the public engagement can be directed to the county’s customer service center at (813) 272-5900.