Construction of the bridge over Bell Creek on Boyette Rd. just west of Bell Shoals Rd. in Riverview is in full swing. Although facing some delays officials say the project is on schedule and will be completed as planned.
Although some delays due to unforeseen conditions and utility problems have plagued the final phase of the Boyette Rd. widening, county officials remain optimistic and promise a timely conclusion.
Patrick Murray, county Public Works spokesperson, talked about the three-phase project, which began more than five years ago and involves the entire stretch of Boyette Rd. from Bell Shoals Rd. to U.S. Hwy. 301.
“Phase III remains on schedule and is expected to be completed within the allotted timeframe,” Murray said.
The final phase of the construction that covers the roadway from McMullen Rd. to Bell Shoals Rd. has been a hot topic of discussion for many due to the extent of the workload, which involves the building of two new bridges.
The added traffic problems following the opening of Valrico Academy just west of the Bell Shoals and Boyette Rd. intersection also raised concern, not to mention the proposed traffic change upon completion, with motorists needing to utilize u-turns if they wish to travel toward U.S. Hwy. 301.
Boyette Rd. will widen from the existing 2-lane road to 4-lane divided highway.
The final product will include bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides, relocation of major utilities, drainage improvements, landscaped medians, mast arm traffic signals as well as reconstruction of Bell Creek Bridge, west of Bell Shoals Rd.
Construction of the approximately $23 million final phase, which began in early fall 2010, should be completed by late spring 2014, as part of the $66 million total project, proving to be the most expensive, as well as challenging portion, thanks to the removal of the old bridge, which will be replaced with two bridges.
This bridge work began in mid-July of 2011 and will continue throughout the duration of the project, led by Prince Contracting, under construction engineer; Orth-Rodgers & Associates, Inc.
County officials are counting on the benefits of the final phase and total product. The delays and obstacles that have plagued the first two phases of the road construction are now gone as the roadway from U.S. Hwy. 301 to McMullen Rd. now boast of many satisfied commuters.
For more information about the project, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.