The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT or Department) has conducted a Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study to evaluate conceptual design improvement alternatives and social and environmental impacts along Cobb Road (CR 485) from SR 50 to US 98 and along US 98 from Cobb Road to the Suncoast Parkway west of the City of Brooksville in Hernando County, Florida. The improved facilities plan to serve as a by-pass route for heavy trucks and other vehicles that do not have a need to travel through the Brooksville central business district via US 98 east of the Cobb Road intersection. It was anticipated that when the planned project is constructed, Cobb Road will be designated and signed as US 98 to route traffic around the west side of Brooksville. The Project Location Map, shows the project study area and project segmentation.
Study Purpose and Need
The existing Cobb Road / US 98 corridor provided traffic flow around the west side of the City of Brooksville, ultimately connecting SR 50 with the Suncoast Parkway (SR 589). Traffic growth in Hernando County and in the vicinity of the City of Brooksville will cause Cobb Road and US 98 to become congested if traffic capacity is not added to the system. The need to provide a safer designated bypass route around the City of Brooksville is vital, particularly for the large volume of truck traffic associated with three major rock mines and other industrial facilities situated along the project corridor. Capacity and safety improvements to Cobb Road and US 98, along with the designation of Cobb Road as US 98, represents a long-standing goal of the City of Brooksville and Hernando County. This goal has been incorporated into the Hernando County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) 2025 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), which calls for widening the existing roadways to a continuous four-lane divided, controlled access facility.
The planned project will improve the capacity and safety of the existing two-lane Cobb Road (CR 485) and a portion of US 98 in Hernando County, Florida. The project study area begins on Cobb Road at SR 50 in the City of Brooksville and extends northward 4.5 miles to US 98. The study area then proceeds 7 miles westward along US 98 to the Suncoast Parkway. These segments of Cobb Road and US 98 are currently two-lane undivided rural arterials. The total length of the planned project is approximately 11.5 miles. The project has been divided into six segments (Segments 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3 and 4) for purposes of analysis throughout this study.