February 4, 2011
County Shifts Focus To FishHawk Blvd And Bell Shoals Intersection
As work on the third and final phase of the Boyette Rd. widening project in Riverview continues, county officials have focused their attention on the troublesome Boyette Rd./Bell Shoals Rd. and FishHawk Blvd. intersection, which originally was not to see much relief until the tail end of the improvement project.
During a public meeting prior to the start of Phase III, which is proving to be the most extensive as well as expensive portion of the $66 million project, totaling an estimated $22 million, covering Boyette Rd. between McMullen and Bell Shoals roads, many were concerned about the county’s plans on leaving work for the already busy intersection for last.
Interestingly, according to Valdez, originally the intersection in question was actually a separate project not included in the three-phase Boyette Rd. work.
However, to bring residents up to speed with the project’s current status, county spokes person Steve Valdez explained that shifting focus on the completion of the Boyette Rd./Bell Shoals Rd. and FishHawk Blvd. intersection first, just made good sense.
“Motorist have been dealing with a lot of traffic at this intersection already,” Valdez said. “To avoid more traffic it was a necessity to get to this portion of the project as early as possible.”
Adding to the reason for getting the intersection done early, Valdez said that the county had to consider the beginning of a three-phased FishHawk Blvd. widening project, first of which (Phase I) encompasses a 1-mile section of FishHawk Blvd. from west of Mosaic Dr. to Little FishHawk Creek.
“At its completion, this phase will, of course, connect to the Bell Shoals Rd. and Boyette Rd. intersection so it was prudent for us to coordinate work with the community and finish this portion first,” he said.
Valdez also explained the reason for the clearing of a huge portion of land on the north east corner of Boyette Rd./Bell Shoals Rd. and FishHawk Blvd. intersection, which now exposes the Alafia River Pumping Station that has been largely hidden all these years.
“Due to the existing commercial properties on the remaining sides the expansion had to shift to that direction, the north east corner of the intersection,” he said.
As for the rest of the project Valdez was pleased to say that construction is not only going well, but is on time and in some cases actually ahead of schedule and budget.
“We are continually looking for was to expedite the work as well as to find ways to be under budget,” he said.
The next major portion of the 3-mile road work is the removal of the Bell Creek Bridge, about a half a mile west of Bell Shoals Rd., which will be replaced with two new two-lane bridges.
Excess roads are also scheduled to be built to ease traffic during the construction. Completion date is set for the winter of 2014.
For more information about the Boyette Rd. construction project please visit www.hillsboroughcounty.gov.