Effort continues to link Wesley Chapel roads

Posted at 6:05 PM, Mar 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-09 18:05:19-05
A stalemate over connecting two Tampa Bay area roads may have new hope. Right now, Kinnan Street and Mansfield Boulevard in Wesley Chapel are separated by a barricade and patch of grass.
Part of the challenge in connecting them is that Kinnan Street is part of the City of Tampa. Mansfield Blvd. is part of Pasco County.  
For almost a decade, there have been talks about connecting the two, making a new pathway between Hillsborough and Pasco counties.
"We need it to open. I have a lot if customers from Cross Creek. They take like 25 minutes to come here.  If this road opens it'll take like four minutes," said Hakim Daoud, owner of the nearby Perfect Haircut Salon.  
But instead of the two counties agreeing to make the connection, a barricade has stood firm and become a dumping site.  Even still, Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore said talks didn't stall.
"The discussions never actually stopped, but they really weren't as much in the public eye," Moore said.
The conversation took a step forward Wednesday as Tampa and Pasco leaders came face to face for a closed door meeting in Dade City.
"We always want to think regionally and be good neighbors on both sides," said Moore.  
Both side have now decided engineers should take a fresh look at the old studies done on the roads. But because of all the new development in the area, it's possible a new study will be needed. Before that happens, both counties want to hear from the public.
"The citizens can talk about the pros and cons of opening this road up, what their cares and concerns are.  Then we could use those comments and come up with the scope of a new study going forward," Moore said.
And the discussion is likely to extend far beyond Mansfield and Kinnan to include other connections between the counties that could help alleviate traffic.