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Four-laning of Ridge Road should conclude by April 2015

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Published:   |   Updated: January 14, 2014 at 02:55 PM

NEW PORT RICHEY — “This is your road,” Commissioner Henry Wilson told about 100 people at the second public workshop on the widening of Ridge Road east of Little Road.

By April 2015, two-lane Ridge will become four lanes along the nearly three-mile stretch from Broad Street to Moon Lake Road.

The $22 million project includes the Pasco-Hernando Community College West Campus entrance.

The county incorporated suggestions from residents after the first workshop in August, so officials wanted to give commuters an update last Thursday.

In addition, Wilson encouraged people to send him notes directly to hwilson@pascocountyfl.net if they think of anything else.

After some delays, much of the preliminary work to relocate utility lines should wrap up in February, Wilson observed. He also said he would check into a complaint about smoke stirred up by construction.

The county changed some access issues based on ideas of residents, Engineering Services Director James Widman said.

Traffic signals are planned on Ridge at Bass Lake Road, Airway Boulevard opposite the relocated Pasco-Hernando Community College entrance, Kitty Hawk Drive opposite Pall Aeropower and River Ridge Boulevard.

Crews so far have been clearing debris, excavating retention pond sites, installing gas and water mains and placing drainage pipes.

Workers widened a culvert near Bass Lake, Kurt Keith, project manager with Tampa-based Pepper Contracting, told a resident.

Another person feared the impact of storm-water run-off into Rock Sink near his Sycamore Drive home. Widman pointed out the permit from environmental regulators allows no increase in drainage from the culvert.

While the Bass Lake retention pond is fenced, Widman wasn’t certain if the new retention ponds will be fenced as well. He pledged to check.

Another questioner asked how tall the privacy wall will be along Hidden Lake Estates. The wall itself is 6 feet, Widman said.

In response to another query, Widman said he believes the final speed limit on four-lane Ridge probably will be 45 mph. During construction, the speed limit is 35 mph.

Besides four lanes, the section of Ridge Road will gain medians, directional turn lanes and sidewalks, county officials said..

A 5-foot sidewalk will parallel Ridge on the north side, while plans call for an 8-foot multi-use trail on the south side.

The county will pay half of the $22 million price tag for widening Ridge Road, Wilson said. The rest of the money came from a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

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