County to extend Gornto Lake Road to relieve traffic near Brandon Mall

BRANDON, Fla. - If you drive by the Brandon Town Center Mall, you can expect some lengthy holdups. People who make the commute say it's bumper-to-bumper every day and there are very few options to get around it.

Niki Koutz volunteers at a school in Brandon and leaves from home early to make it on time.  "We tend to add about five to ten minutes to our time to make sure that we're going to get where we need to early because you just never know how bad the traffic is going to be."

Sarah Russo also braves the back-up. She's worried about the gridlock during the holiday shopping season. Russo said, "Try to hit stuff during the day or when people are at work or busy. But, even now, it's getting congested during the day. Even during work hours."

To cut down on that congestion, Hillsborough county crews are extending a half-mile stretch of Gornto Lake Road, from Brandon Town Center Boulevard to State Road 60. County officials expect 22,000 vehicles to travel on the four-lane extension daily. Construction began this week.

Andy Winningham, the project superintendent said, "Hopefully they're happy and it helps out some of the traffic issues that they've had in the past around the area. Hopefully it will make a big difference."

Officials say work on the $4 million project should take around a year to complete.

For Sarah Russo, that's a relief. Russo said, "I think it's something that's really needed. Probably past due. So it's good news to hear."

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