Hillsborough County Public Works Department staff welcomed residents at a recently held meeting in connection with a proposed $2 million intersection project at Bloomingdale Ave. and Little Rd.

Hillsborough County Public Works Department staff recently received an earful of opposition from the close to three dozen residents that attended a second public meeting in connection with the proposed improvements at the intersection of Bloomingdale Ave. at Little Rd. in Valrico.
The issue concerning the location in question perhaps surprised county staff as it boiled down to the majority of residents not only opposing the project completely, but requesting the county to use the funds elsewhere within the community.
 According to Hillsborough County Public Works Department Community Relations Coordinator Patrick Murray, the proposed $2 million project is to include constructing a left-turn lane from eastbound Bloomingdale Ave. to northbound Little Rd. and the installation of a sidewalk and bicycle lanes.
The project also includes the construction of a sidewalk on the north side of Bloomingdale Ave. from the east end of the project to Ranch Rd.
The design phase is scheduled to be completed by January of 2011. Once complete, the right of way acquisition phase will begin. An additional right of way will be required to construct the proposed project, which is expected to begin in late 2011, Murray said.
However, this plan does not sit well with Bill Norris, of Valrico, as well as many other residents whose comments in opposition to the project included urging the county to focus first on slowing down the traffic on Bloomingdale Ave. and to install a traffic signal at Pearson Rd., just one block east on Bloomingdale. 
“A red light at the Pearson intersection should be done first,” Norris said. “It is the most urgent. We do not need this improvement at Little Rd. and Bloomingdale.”
Norris’ comments resonated on most comment cards turned in following the meeting, some of which simply urged the department to forgo the project altogether and use the funds for the Pearson intersection just east of the proposed site, who pleaded with county officials to stay away from this project.
“We are very concerned that this project will make things worse,” said Valrico resident Laura Penny. “The problem is Pearson,” she added.   
For more information about area projects and upcoming public hearings, please visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.

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