Project Overview

Project Location Map

Project Location Map

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) conducted a Project Development & Environment (PD&E) study to evaluate improvement options along the C.R. 578 corridor from the vicinity of U.S. 19 to the vicinity of U.S. 41 in Pasco and Hernando Counties, a distance of approximately 11.0 miles. The proposed Ayers Road Extension (C.R. 576), a segment of roadway on new alignment, is being evaluated from the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway to the vicinity of U.S. 41 and Ayers Road, for a distance of approximately 2.8 miles. The project is located within Sections 1 through 6 of Township 24 South, Range 17 East and Sections 1 through 6 of Township 24 South, Range 18 East in Pasco County. In Hernando County, the project is located within Sections 31 through 36 of Township 23 South, Range 17 East; Sections 25, 26, 31 through 36 of Township 23 South, Range 18 East; and Section 30 of Township 23 South, Range 19 East.

A public hearing for the C.R. 578 PD&E study was held on Thursday, August 8, 2002 from 4:40 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Frank W. Springstead High School located at 3300 Mariner Boulevard, Spring Hill, Florida.

Study Purpose and Need

The need for improvement along the C.R. 578 corridor was established based on the evaluation of the following conditions:

  • Current substandard traffic operations within the study area,
  • The expected future traffic demands along the C.R. 578 corridor,
  • The projected future socioeconomic growth in northwest Pasco and Southwest Hernando Counties,
  • Substandard vertical sight distances,
  • Use as a designated evacuation route, and
  • Lack of adequate bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

The portion of the project from U.S. 19 (S.R. 55) to Mariner Boulevard/Shady Hills Road is included in the Hernando County and Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) 2020 Long Range Transportation Plans (LRTPs) and is recommended to be improved to a four-lane divided facility. The portion of C.R. 578 from Mariner Boulevard/Shady Hills Road to U.S. 41 (S.R. 45) is not currently included in either the Hernando County or Pasco County Comprehensive Plans or LRTPs. The Ayers Road Extension (C.R. 576), a proposed roadway connection on new alignment from C.R. 578/Suncoast Parkway to the vicinity of U.S. 41 and Ayers Road is identified in the Hernando County 2010 Interim Plan as a two-lane facility and in the 2020 LRTP as a four-lane facility. The Ayers Road Extension is being proposed to provide continuous travel to the east of U.S. 41 and to provide improved access to the Hernando County Airport.

Proposed Improvements

The existing C.R. 578 corridor is an east/west facility with a functional classification of a major collector. The recommended project extends from the vicinity of U.S. 19 (S.R. 55) to the vicinity of U.S. 41 (S.R. 45). C.R. 578 is currently a two-lane rural roadway from U.S. 19 to Callaway Avenue, from Hallow Avenue to west of the Suncoast Parkway, and from east of the Suncoast Parkway to U.S. 41. From Callaway Avenue to Hallow Avenue, C.R. 578 is a four-lane divided suburban facility with an open drainage system. In addition, for 0.5 mi (0.8 km) west and east of the interchange at the Suncoast Parkway, C.R. 578 has been improved to a four-lane divided rural facility. The existing posted speed limit along C.R. 578 ranges from 40 to 55 miles per hour (mph) (60 to 90 kilometers per hour (kph)). The existing right-of-way (ROW) width ranges from 50 to 170 feet (ft) (15.0 to 52.0 meters (m)) except at the Suncoast Parkway interchange where the ROW width is 254 ft (77.4 m). Additionally, a segment of roadway on new alignment, referred to as the Ayers Road Extension, is being proposed from the C.R. 578/Suncoast Parkway interchange to the vicinity of U.S. 41 and Ayers Road (C.R. 576).

The recommended project involves improving C.R. 578 to a four-lane suburban facility from the vicinity of U.S. 19 to the vicinity of U.S. 41, a distance of approximately 12.0 mi (19.3 km). A segment of roadway on new alignment, referred to as the Ayers Road Extension, is also recommended from the C.R. 578/Suncoast Parkway interchange north then east to the vicinity of U.S. 41 and Ayers Road (C.R. 576). The recommended route extends northward through mostly undeveloped pasture then east for a distance of approximately 3.5 mi (5.6 km) terminating at the U.S. 41/Ayers Road intersection north of Masaryktown. Based on the design speed, level of service, and access requirements, the improved facility will be functionally classified as an arterial roadway.

The portion of the project from East Road to the Suncoast Parkway is included in the Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO’s) 2025 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) as a four-lane divided facility. The portion of the project from U.S. 19 to the Suncoast Parkway is included in the Hernando County MPO’s 2025 LRTP and is recommended to be improved to a four- lane divided facility.

The recommended new roadway alignment (S-5), the Ayers Road Extension, from the C.R. 578/Suncoast Parkway interchange to the vicinity of the U.S. 41/Ayers Road intersection, is also identified in the Hernando County 2025 LRTP as a four-lane facility.

For the Ayers Road Extension, it was determined that because of the potentially adverse effects Alignment S-5 had on the Alexsuk Site (Site – 8HE426), further coordination with FHWA and SHPO was needed. Consequently, a new alignment, S-8, was developed. This alternative was developed in an effort to minimize or eliminate effects to the Alexsuk Site. Both alignments were presented at the Public Hearing. Alignment S-5 was the preferred alternative. The Ayers Road Extension will provide a continuous east-west travel route from U.S. 19 to west of I-75 and facilitate new access to the Hernando County Airport in accordance with the Hernando County Airport Master Plan.

The typical section recommended in this study and approved by Pasco and Hernando Counties, is a four-lane divided suburban facility with a 30 ft (9.0 m) median of which 22 ft (6.6 m) is raised, two 12 ft (3.6 m) travel lanes in each direction, 8 ft (2.4 m) outside shoulders with 5 ft (1.5 m) of the shoulder paved, and 15 ft (4.5 m) drainage swales. A 12 ft (3.6 m) multi-use facility on the north side of the roadway and a 5 ft (1.5 m) sidewalk on the south side of the roadway are recommended. The recommended design speed for this typical section is 55 mph (90 km/h).

Contact Information
For more information or to comment, please contact:

Environmental Management Office
Florida Department of Transportation, District Seven
11201 N. Malcolm McKinley Drive
M.S. 7-500
Tampa, FL 33612-6456

Phone: (813) 975-6000
Toll Free: (800) 226-7220

Para preguntas en Español
Valoramos la opinión del público sobre este proyecto. Si usted tiene preguntas o comentarios o si simplemente desea mas información en Español, favor ponerse en contacto con el ingeniero a cargo de este proyecto, la señora Elba Lopez al teléfono (813) 975-6403.