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SR 56 expansion expected to boost business

Posted at 5:54 PM, May 25, 2016
State Representative Danny Burgess was born and bred in Zephyrhills and is more than excited about the road ahead.
 
“It’s going to make our community brighter than it already is,” he said.
 
He’s helping lead the way to connect his city with the rest of Tampa Bay like never before.
 
“It’s been difficult to transition from Zephyrhills to the interstate, so this is another corridor that’s going to take you right to I-75,” Burgess said.
 
The $65 million project will extend State Road 56 from Meadow Point Boulevard in Wesley Chapel, six miles east to 301 and S.R. 41 in Zephyrhills.
 
It’s not just a road, but a business lifeline leaders say will open up opportunities that will impact all of Tampa Bay.
 
Kevin Bahr’s Zephyrhills roots go back to 1969. He owns Bahr’s Propane Gas & A/C.
 
He said a study done by the chamber of commerce showed road access was the biggest speed bump impeding growth.
 
“If we can get some roads and people coming in, we really feel that industry will take off around the airport. And I think it will be very beneficial for the city of Zephyrhills,” said Bahr.
 
The Zephyrhills airport is also slated for expansion.
 
Local leaders pushed hard to make sure the 56 extension is four lanes and not just two as previously planned.
 
“We wanted to be on the front end of this growth that’s taking place. We want to do this the right way. It’s going to save a lot of money in the end,” said Burgess.
 
The Florida Department of Transportation is paying for more than half of the project, with local governments splitting the rest of it.
 
Construction should start later this year with the road open sometime in 2019.