FDOT plans safety upgrades, resurfacing for Kennedy Blvd.

Construction set to start Summer 2018
Posted at 6:12 PM, Apr 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-19 18:12:14-04

A major state road is set to get a big makeover in Summer 2018, but some are worried about how the construction will affect their commutes.

FDOT plans to resurface State Road 60 (E. Kennedy Blvd.) from East of N. Ashley Street to West of N. Nebraska Ave. in Hillsborough County.

But some are concerned about what the impact will be on the cars that travel Kennedy Blvd. every day.

"It could be a nightmare trying to fix this road since it's one of the major roads here," said Marty Greenwald, who owns and operates a hot dog stand along Kennedy Boulevard.

The state also plans to construct sidewalk bulb-outs at signalized intersections. Bulb-outs, also know as curb extensions, help make pedestrians and cyclists safer by increasing pedestrian visibility, shortening crossing distances, slowing turning vehicles, and visually narrowing the roadway.

Students from the University of Tampa who often walk along Kennedy say this is necessary.

"There's so many cars here," said Tanner Randazzo. "They all want to get to their place on time and they have no cares in the world about pedestrians."

"In this day and age, no one can just wait a minute," said Anna Gordon. "It would make me feel a lot safer."

Part of the project will also bring pedestrian features to meet current ADA standards, and update pedestrian signal timing. 

While Greenwald is concerned about the impact on traffic, he said he believes the repairs are ultimately necessary.

"I've been on this corner for 36 years," Greenwald said. I've seen a lot happen here,"  

FDOT said typically, they do not close down roads in their entirety. Instead, it is done in phases. The maintenance of traffic plan is being designed now, FDOT Spokesperson Kris Carson said. FDOT will also work with all the local businesses in the area so they know the construction schedule, Carson said.

In addition, FDOT said they will also review all the pedestrian timings to make sure pedestrians have enough time and everything is accurate.