About two dozen residents attended a public meeting held last month at the Gardenville Recreation Center, located at 6215 Symmes Rd. to discuss proposed improvements to the intersection of Symmes Road and East Bay Rd. in the Gibsonton area.
According to Patrick Murray, of the county’s Infrastructure and Development Services Team, the project will include an Interim phase and an Ultimate phase, in order to increase safety for both motorists and pedestrians.
“The proposed traffic signal and future improvements are designed to address safety issues,” Murray said.
But while the approximately $300,000 Interim phase is funded for the design and construction, the Ultimate phase, is currently in design, but not funded for construction.
Murray explained that the construction of the project’s interim phase is limited to the installation of a new traffic signal with mast arms, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant ramps and pedestrian crosswalks.
With no right-of-way anticipated to be needed for the installation of mast arms, this phase is scheduled for construction in the fall of 2012, however, the project has not been awarded a contractor at this time.
Construction of the project’s future, second or ultimate phase will be scheduled as funds become available with improvements that would include the addition of an exclusive eastbound left-turn lane and an exclusive westbound left-turn lane on Symmes Rd.
On East Bay Road, the addition of an exclusive southbound right-turn lane is also planned.
Curb and gutter, sidewalks, and bike lanes along both sides of Symmes Rd., will be added with the exception that sidewalk will not be added along the northwest leg of Symmes Rd. due to limited right-of-way.
On the northeast leg of East Bay Rd., curb and gutter, sidewalks, and bike lanes and along the northwest leg a paved shoulder is also planned to be added.
No improvements are proposed on East Bay south of the intersection other than adding ADA ramps on the radius returns.
The design phase for this portion of the project is scheduled for completion in the Summer of 2012.
For information about this and other project currently planned or scheduled for, please visit the county’s Website at www.hillsboroughcounty.org.

Caption: A steady flow of traffic at midday and safety concerns for both motorists and pedestrians at the intersection of Symmes and East Bay roads in Gibsonton, prompted county officials to hold a public meeting last month.

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