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Pasco Co. leaders travel to the capital to secure funding for projects

Posted at 4:15 PM, Mar 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 18:23:18-04

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Thousands use Pasco County's Starkey Trail to bike, run, or jog daily.

Bicyclist Rick Ruchotzke said "the trail is excellent," but getting across State Road 54 can be "tricky."

Many say it's just not safe. County leaders say Pasco County deputies respond to dozens of accidents in that area daily, and a lot of them involve pedestrians. This is why making the area safer is one of their top priorities.

They were in Tallahassee Wednesday asking state leaders for $89.5 million to help fund 11 projects.

They want to use about $8 million to build two pedestrian bridges on the Starkey Trail. One will go over U.S. 19 and the other will go over State Road 54.

"That's awesome," said Richard Silver. "I specifically avoid crossing 54 because it's so dangerous.

The other big project county leaders are fighting for is on State Road 52. They are currently widening the road to four lanes. The project costs about $73 million. Once complete 22 miles of 52 will be four lanes from Bellamy Brothers Bvld. to U.S 41.