Hillsborough County officials have scheduled a public meeting to discuss improvements for the heavily used Valrico Rd. and Front St. intersection in Brandon.

When talking about intersection improvements, Valrico Rd. and Front Street, needs no special introduction. 
The treacherous and arguably one of the most heavily used intersections in the Brandon area is scheduled to take center stage during an upcoming public meeting on Wednesday, December 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the Valrico Recreation Center, located at 707 S. Miller Rd.
Hillsborough County officials have scheduled the event to discuss proposed improvements at the intersection and to discuss the details of the project along with answering any questions residents may have.
According to County Public Works Department Community Relations Coordinator Patrick Murray, due to construction funds limitations, the design has been divided in two phases: an interim phase and an ultimate phase.
“The interim phase is funded for design and construction through the Hillsborough County Transportation Task Force (TTF) funds,” Murray said.
This phase consists of the installation of a new mast arm traffic signal with associated pedestrian features, pavement striping on crosswalks on the west leg and at a new crossing on the north leg.
Right-of-way along the northwest corner of the intersection is anticipated to be acquired for placement of a mast arm.
“This phase is scheduled to start construction in early 2012,” he said. “The project cost for the interim phase is $670,000.
As for the ultimate phase, which takes into account the future improvements is currently funded for design only. 
“This phase of the construction will be scheduled, once funds become available,” Murray said, but mentioned that this portion of the project improvements along N. Valrico Rd. will include the reconstruction of the roadway, which include raising the existing roadway elevations to better match the existing CSX rail crossing to improve sight distance.
It will widen the roadway to the west to add a new northbound left-turn lane and a southbound left-turn lane. The roadway is proposed to be widened to the west to avoid costly impacts to the CSX tracks and railroad switch on the east side. Right-of-way would be required for the proposed roadway widening.
The phase will also provide concrete sidewalks along both sides throughout the project limits to improve safety pedestrian access along with new storm water inlets, concrete piping and drainage are provided to improve drainage conditions.
A longer gate and a wider concrete railroad surface crossing would be constructed by CSX to accommodate the widened roadway.
Improvements along Front St. during this phase would also include the reconstruction of the roadway, raising the elevation of the existing roadway to improve sight-distance and providing safety with five foot paved shoulders.
It would widen the roadway to the north to add a new eastbound left-turn lane and a new drainage swale, which is proposed along the north side as well as a new concrete sidewalk within the project limits to improve existing conditions.
Murray said that the traffic signal constructed as part of the interim phase would remain in place for the ultimate phase.
The final design plans and permits for both projects are anticipated to be completed by spring 2011; however, the ultimate improvements are not funded for construction at this time.
For additional assistance, or for more information, please call Steve Valdez, Public Works Department, at  272-5275 (TTY: 301-7173).

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