NewsPasco County


Construction along State Road 52 creates dump truck woes for resident

'They're ripping up the roads. A lot of them are driving really unsafe.'
Posted at 5:57 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 17:57:38-05

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Lainey McConkey and her husband have lived along Lussier Lane in Pasco County for almost ten years.

For close to a decade, they have enjoyed the solitude of the country with acres of land lined with horses. That was until a couple of years ago when construction along State Road 52, which is a few miles away from them, began.

Since the work began, McConkey said dump trucks and even semi-trucks use her street as a cut-through to get between SR 52 and US 41.

"They're ripping up the roads. A lot of them are driving really unsafe," McConkey said. "This has been getting worse with the traffic for the last few years because of the construction they're doing."

The construction work McConkey refers to is the widening of SR 52 and businesses like a car wash and storage units that are being built.

McConkey said often times the trucks will avoid traffic along SR 52 or US 41 and cut through her street, which is a stretch of road that is primarily residential.

"It makes driving really difficult. It ruins the road. It ruins everything. Everything is filthy. I know it's a ranch; it's going to be a bit dirty, but there shouldn't be clouds of dust getting on cars that are 200 yards from the road," McConkey said.

Last year, in an hours time, McConkey counted 62 trucks that traveled along her road.

Pasco County commissioners added "No Thru Trucks" signs in 2021 that sit at the road entrance, but it's more of a suggestion than a rule for some drivers.

Last week McConkey's security cameras captured the dump trucks traveling along her road. The timestamp showed some of them were within seconds of one another.

"I have tried stopping some of them. Speaking to them. They say, 'oh, we didn't know,'" McConkey said.

ABC Action News contacted the Florida Department of Transportation about the issue. Since SR 52 is under the state's jurisdiction, FDOT works with the contractors and subcontractors who drive the trucks.

Kristen Carson with FDOT said, "We checked with the road contractor, and they advised us they have done a good job ensuring their dump trucks and sub-contractors do not use this route. From observations made in the past, these trucks are usually cutting through to the mines north on 41. It is a shortcut for that destination. The mines have nothing to do with FDOT construction. We will continue to ensure the 52 trucks do not use this route."

Pasco County deputies have monitored the area and McConkey said that has helped, but unless the deputies are paid privately by residents, they can't watch the area the entire day.

A representative with the county said there's not much more they can do besides the signage.

After ABC Action News alerted the Florida Highway Patrol about the issue, Sgt. Steve Gaskins said because the road is in the county's jurisdiction they will not conduct enforcement in the area.