This project considers improvements to a section of State Road (SR) 52 from SR 55 (U.S. 19) to SR 93 (I-75) in central Pasco County on Florida’s west coast. The proposed action is to upgrade this 23.3-mile section of SR 52 from the existing 2-lane roadway to a multilane, divided highway. A 6-lane, divided urban cross section is proposed from U.S. 19 to County Road (CR) 587 (Moon Lake Road), and a 4-lane rural cross section is proposed from Moon Lake Road to I-75. The bridge over Bear Creek, located approximately 1.5 miles east of U.S. 19, will be replaced as part of this project. Other culverts and box culverts located within the project limits will be replaced or widened as warranted. These highway improvements will provide adequate capacity through the 2010 design year.
The intersection of U.S. 19 and the interchange of I-75 with SR 52 were determined to be outside the scope of this project. The U.S. 19 and SR 52 intersection is part of a separate study concerning improvements to U.S. 19 north and south of SR 52. The improvements to this intersection are not included in the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) current 5-year work program. The I-75 interchange with SR 52 was previously improved to a multilane facility under 1-75 and will connect with the improvements proposed for this project.
Study Purpose and Need
Due to an increase in projected traffic and changes in future land use, a six-lane typical section is now required. This typical section will also ensure consistency with the proposed 2025 Long Range Transportation Plan. Existing traffic volumes range from, 14,450 Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) from US 41 to Bellamy Brothers Road, to 21,905 from the Suncoast Parkway to Shady Hills Road. By 2030, traffic is projected to increase to 23,790 AADT from Bellamy Brothers Road to Old Pasco Road and to 36,120 AADT between Shady Hills Road and US 41. Traffic volumes indicate the need for six lanes.
From the Suncoast Parkway to Shady Hills Road, the urban typical section provides a 46-foot median separating three 12-foot lanes for each direction of travel. Four-foot bike lanes will also be provided on each side of the facility. A 5-foot sidewalk will be provided along the south side of the roadway and a 12-foot multi-use path will be provided on the north side of the roadway. From Shady Hills Road to I-75, the rural typical section will provide a 46-foot median separating three 12-foot lanes for each direction of travel. Ten-foot shoulders of which five feet will be paved will be provided along each side of the facility would accommodate bicyclists. A 12-foot multi-use path will be provided on the north side of the roadway.
The recommended alignment for the SR 52 project corridor was evaluated and compared to the 1988 PD&E Study alignment. Subsequent to the previous study, the current recommended alignment for the segment from the Suncoast Parkway to US 41 was adjusted or shifted in certain areas from the alignment proposed in that study. In the vicinity of the CSX Railroad, the alignment shifts to the south to avoid a potential contamination site. The original 1988 PD&E alignment was to the north. From approximately 3,400 feet west of Ehren Cutoff to I-75, the proposed alignment is shifted to the north. This keeps the proposed multiuse path on the north side of the roadway and prevents the path from having to cross SR 52 if the southerly shifted alignment from the 1988 PD&E was used.