HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Neighbors are divided on whether Hillsborough County's plan to extend Citrus Park Drive nearly three miles will actually reduce congestion and make things safer.
The project consists of extending Citrus Park Drive to connect Countryway Boulevard to Sheldon Road by adding a 2.73-mile section of four-lane, divided urban road.
The corridor will have two 11-foot lanes, a 6-foot “buffered” bicycle lane, and sidewalks in both directions, according to plans laid out by Hillsborough County.
New traffic signals will be installed at the new Fawn Ridge Boulevard intersection and at the entrance of Deer Park Elementary. Included in the project are landscaped medians, drainage improvements, pedestrian safety features, water and wastewater infrastructure, and an upgraded traffic signal system.
Connecting the two existing segments of Citrus Park Drive will accommodate future traffic demands in the northwest area of Hillsborough County, including the neighborhoods within and around Westchase and Citrus Park.
This project provides pedestrian and bicycling connectivity to other neighborhoods, as well as the Upper Tampa Bay Trail and Deer Park Elementary School, and will alleviate traffic volumes on Linebaugh Avenue and South Mobley Road.
Some neighbors agree this will help reduce congestion and say this has been badly needed.
"There's just not enough roads," said Rich Scott, who lives in the area near Citrus Park Drive. "I mean obviously that's just traffic coming through on Racetrack and Linebaugh, where traffic is starting to get heavy."
But others are concerned about how all of these changes will impact their quiet neighborhoods.
'You've got people who are going to take this shortcut to the mall," said Charlotte Sarafolean, who also lives nearby. "You've got people on this side who are going to take it to the school and I know there are a lot of parents who want this to go through because of that."
Construction are expected to begin in Fall 2018 and be complete in 2021.