Supporters of Ridge Road extension hopeful construction will start in 2018

Posted at 6:31 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 03:03:54-04

A look at a map of Pasco County shows the area Patrick Storer says needs help.

“Another road would be awesome for any number of reasons,” he said.

Storer and his Land O’ Lakes neighbor Ryan Becwar are leading the charge to make the extension of Ridge Road finally happen.

Right now the primary east-west routes across Pasco County are State Roads 54 and 52.

But for years, many have worked on a project to extend Ridge Road from Moon Lakes to the Suncoast Parkway. And then through to US 41 in Land O’ Lakes.

“It seems they’ve spent enough money keeping it alive. They could of had it built,” said Storer.

Supporters including those behind a Facebook group, Citizens for the Ridge Road Extension, said the extension is needed for a vital hurricane evacuation route.  And also crucial for general traffic relief that would help businesses across Pasco.

“I just want to see this community grow. And with all this building that’s going on here in Pasco County, we need the infrastructure,” said Becwar.

There are many reasons it’s taken so long to get the extension going including the $102 million cost and environmental concerns.

The Suncoast Sierra Club is against the project because of what they say it will do to wetlands.

“This is a great place. Why would we want to cut it in half,” said Pasco County resident Dale Thien.

Plans call for some of the roadway to be elevated to limit effect on the the area.

Community leaders have been working at getting support from the Federal government and just had some face time with the head of the Department of Transportation last week.

They are still waiting for final permitting from the Army Corp of Engineers. Then they hope to see construction begin next summer.