Residents Discuss Bloomingdale Ave. And Culbreath Rd.
Alternatives By Tamas Mondovics
The Bloomingdale Ave. and Culbreath Rd. intersection is possibly one of the busiest in the area and is now under consideration for improvements, a process that reached its third hearing last month at the Bloomingdale Recreation Center located at 3940 Canoga Park Dr. in Brandon.  Ready to answer questions, Hillsborough County staff welcomed residents to discuss three alternatives now on the table for the proposed upgrade that carries an estimated cost of more than $3 million.“The project is not funded for construction yet,” said Hillsborough County spokesperson Steve Valdez. “The purpose of the meeting, again, was to receive public input similar to the previous meetings on the subject.”  According to county officials, the first proposed alternative includes adding an exclusive eastbound to southbound right-turn lane and an additional westbound to southbound left-turn lane to create a dual turn lane on Bloomingdale Ave. In addition to these geometric improvements, four-ft.-wide designated bike lanes and five-ft.-or six-ft.-wide sidewalks are being considered along both sides of Bloomingdale Ave. as well as the upgrade of the existing traffic signal to a steel pole/mastarm configuration.                 The second alternative considers the same geometric improvements, along with the addition of an exclusive northbound to westbound left-turn lane along Culbreath Rd., as well as a six-ft.-wide sidewalk along the east side of Culbreath Rd.   The last alternative considers the same geometric improvements as identified for the second. The only difference is the positioning of the northbound left-turn lane. This lane is created by not using the existing median and expanding to the east of Culbreath Rd. All of the alternatives make use of 12-ft.-wide travel and auxiliary turn lanes, while a right-of-way is required to construct the proposed improvements.According to Community Relations Coordinator Patrick Murray, the first alternative does not provide an acceptable level of service in accordance with the county’s Comprehensive Plan (i.e., LOS D or better). While the second and third proposed improvements both produce identical and acceptable levels of service during the AM peak hour, they do not during the PM peak hour. It is also understood by all that due to the close proximity of the signalized Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Bloomingdale Ave., further increases in level of service for this intersection are closely tied to increases in capacity of Bloomingdale Ave.Valdez said that as the process continues future public meetings will be held for design and construction. For more information about the project, residents are encouraged to visit or call 272-5275.

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