Study Purpose and Need
Pasco County has recently experienced rapid suburban development, and this growth is expected to continue as the large amount of existing vacant land is developed and existing land use is improved for the highest and best use. Currently, there are six large developments either under construction or proposed for the area adjacent to I-75 and east to CR 579, a distance of approximately 6 miles (Figure 2-1). These developments include Saddlebrook Village, Northwood, Trout Creek, Wesley Chapel, Oak Lake Village, and Williamsburg. These existing or proposed developments will border the proposed roadway. These six developments cover approximately 9,000 acres and include the development of 17,300 homes with 3.1 million square feet (msf) of light industrial development and a large shopping center. The above-projected development within the project limits is in accordance with the Pasco County Land Use Element and the goals established in Pasco County’s Draft Comprehensive Plan.
Pasco County updated their 1982 adopted Comprehensive Plan to be consistent with the 1985 Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act, Chapter 163, Florida Statutes (FS). The proposed east/west roadway (SR 54) is consistent with the Future Land Use Element of the Updated Comprehensive Plan.
Because this is a new alignment, there is no existing highway. A multilane rural typical cross section that would ultimately provide for a 6-lane divided highway with a 50-foot grassed median in 250 feet of right-of-way was selected for evaluation.
The project also proposes to improve the existing 2-lane rural facility of U.S. 301 to a 4-lane rural divided highway from the new SR 54 alignment intersection to the Zephyrhills East Bypass/Chancey Road, a distance of approximately 0.76 mile. In addition, the project includes the proposed construction of a new 1-75 interchange for the proposed SR 54 project. The proposed interchange would be a full-diamond interchange located approximately 2.5 miles south of the existing SR 54A interchange and 1.5 miles north of the I-75/I-275 apex.