Project Overview

Project Location Map

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The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1962 requires an ongoing transportation planning process in urbanized areas in order to receive federal funds for transportation improvements. Pursuant to this Act, which calls for a continuing, cooperative, comprehensive transportation planning process, the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization {MPO} has completed the Tampa Urban Area Transportation Study (TUATS). This study is periodically reevaluated to determine future travel demands in the county and to develop highway and transit improvements that will satisfy this demand. The most recent TUATS reevaluation is the Tampa Urban Area Transportation Study Year 2000 Plan which indicates a need for a six-lane divided arterial from s. R. 674 to Gibsonton Drive.

Study Purpose and Need

Transportation Demands
Transportation forecasts dated October 16, 1982, as devised from network YOOA6A of TUATS, estimate that in 1983 Average Daily Traffic (ADT) on U.S. 301 would range from approximately 7600 vehicles per day (VPD) in the vicinity of Balm Road to approximately 13,600 VPD in the northern project area {Figure 1). The demand is forecast to increase to approximately 23,400 VPD and 38,600 VPD in each area respectively at a growth rate of approximately 4.25 percent per year through the year 2010.

Evaluation of the major intersections within the project limits indicates that they are currently (1983) operating at Level of Service LOS ‘A’ (free flow) or LOS ‘B’ (stable flow) conditions during the AM and PM peak hours. By the design year 2010, capacity analysis indicates that the major intersections would operate at LOS ‘F’ (forced flow) during AM and PM peak hours under the existing geometry.

System Linkage
Existing Transportation System – U.S. 301, an urban principal arterial on the Federal Aid Primary System, serves as a major north/south arterial for southern Hillsborough County as well as a major north/south traffic route for this area of central Florida.

Future Transportation System – Due to the planned and anticipated growth in southern Hillsborough County, U.S. 301 is expected to remain as a major collector and distributor of traffic in the area as well as a principal arterial highway providing a continuous north/south route through the County.

Socio-Economic Demands
The general study area is primarily rural with scattered commercial use. The unincorporated town of Riverview is located just north of the study limits and the major retirement community of Sun City Center and the unincorporated town of Wimauma are located adjacent to the southern project study area. Within the study limits U.S. 301 is a general land service facility accommodating two-way traffic.

The need to upgrade u.s. 301 in southern Hillsborough County is reflected by the growth projected for the area. Population projections by the Hillsborough County City – County Planning Commission<2 > indicate significant increases in the four census tracts served by the highway. The 1983 estimated population of 31,500 within these four census tracts is projected to increase to 82,400 by the year 2010, a 162 percent increase. This estimate is supported by review of available data regarding planned developments in close proximity to the U.S. 301 corridor. These include several major housing developments with supporting commercial uses which will be directly served by U.S. 301.

The future growth in southern Hillsborough County must be considered in light of the construction of Interstate 75 which will parallel U.S. 301 along the project length. While Interstate 75 will remove some of the through trips from U.S. 301, it will open this part of the county to more suburbanization. The increased accessibility afforded southern Hillsborough County by Interstate 75 will increase development pressures with associated increases in traffic.

Traffic accident data as recorded for the years 1979 through 1983 were analyzed for the project area. Over this five-year period there were approximately 646 accidents resulting in 520 persons injured and 23 fatali ties. The predominant accident modes were rear end collision (33 percent), left turn collisions (18 percent) and two vehicle angle collisions (8.4 percent).

The ratio of the accident rate for the existing facility to the statewide average for similar type facilities is 1.52, or the actual roadway experience is about 52 percent above the statewide average. If no improvements are made to the existing facility, projected traffic increases will result in greater driver hesitation, slower speeds, and a continued probability of a high accident rate. Providing a multi-lane divided roadway section would be expected to result in an Overall reduction in the accident rate, especially in certain types of accidents, such as head-on and rear end collisions.

Emergency Services
U.S. 301 is used frequently by emergency service vehicles. The Hillsborough County Division of Emergency Medical Services uses the highway approximately 150 times per month. There are eight fire stations that answer emergency calls within the project limits. Each of these stations averages 12 alarms per month. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office uses the roadway many thousands of times each month. The Hillsborough County Bureau of Emergency Management has designated U.S. 301 an emergency evacuation route.

Non-Motorized Demands
An evaluation was conducted to determine the feasibility and advisability of providing facilities for bicycles within the project area. While U.S. 301 is not a designated bike route on a public plan, the local Bicycle Path Advisory Committee at the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission has recommended that bicycle traffic be accommodated on both sides of the proposed facility. Without the proposed improvements to U.S. 301, bicycle traffic will have to continue to share the pavement with vehicular traffic.

Proposed Improvements

It is proposed that approximately 10 miles of U.S. 301 (State Road 43) located in southern Hillsborough County, Florida be upgraded to a multi-laned facility consistent with the Tampa Urban Area Transportation Study. The proposed project involves upgrading the existing two-lane roadway from the vicinity of S.R. 674 northerly to the vicinity of Gibsonton Drive. Improvements to the roadway within these general limits would involve multi-laning, geometric improvements to the major intersections, widening and/or replacement of existing bridge structures at Big and Little Bullfrog Creeks and at an unnamed tributary at Cowley Road, as well as vehicular circulation and access considerations.

The planning work and environmental documentation to improve U.S. 301 north of Gibsonton Drive has been accomplished. An Environmental Assessment was developed recommending a six-lane divided facility for U.S. 301 from north of Gibsonton Drive to S.R. 60. The Federal Highway Administration approved the document on July 13, 1982.

The roadway segment from County Road 676A (Bloomingdale Avenue) to S.R. 60 is currently under construction and scheduled to be completed in the spring of 1986. The roadway segment from just north of Gibsonton Drive to C.R. 676A is in the plans preparation stage and currently scheduled to begin construction in fiscal year 1987-88.

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.