By Tamas Mondovics
Area residents recently had a chance to meet with County public works officials, engineers and project managers to get an update on the status of the project to improve traffic flow for the Bloomingdale Avenue and Culbreath Road intersection.
The public information meeting held in an open house format at the Bloomingdale Regional Library’s brand new meeting room at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico, explained the specifics of the $1.4 million construction as well as the reason for the County’s decision to delay the project start until the beginning of the new year.
“We have decided to wait with construction until after the holidays,” said Bayside Engineering Transportation Project Manager, Jordan Caviggia.
Caviggia added that it seemed best to hold off the project for another month due to the extra traffic during the holidays along with the current construction on Bloomingdale Avenue in connection with the Walmart Supercenter just west of the Bloomingdale and Culbreath intersection.
“This job has been under design and consideration for the past five years,” he said. “We are looking at starting construction in the second week of January 2016.”
Hillsborough County Public Works is planning an eastbound right-turn lane and additional westbound and northbound left-turn lanes at the intersection, upgraded traffic signalization, ADA sidewalk improvements near the intersection, and 4-ft.-wide bike lanes on both sides of Bloomingdale Avenue.
Additionally, bus bays will be constructed on both sides of Culbreath Avenue, just south of the YMCA.
Officials ensured residents that traffic flow will remain open during construction in both directions on Bloomingdale Avenue, but that closing of one-lane in each direction will be necessary for workers’ safety.
“Motorists will experience normal construction delays and reduced speeds within the project zone,” said Hillsborough County Neighborhood Liaison, Wanda Sloan.
Residents also expressed concern over possible congestion or misunderstanding of the new traffic pattern, while either merging to follow the traffic flow south on Culbreath or turning into the YMCA parking lot.
Others wondered about the addition of the turn lanes adjacent to the youth baseball and softball complex located southwest of the intersection.
The two neighborhood entry signs will also be removed temporarily by the contractor and reinstalled at the project completion. Work is expected to be completed in mid-2016.
Information presented at the meeting is also available at www.Hillsborough County.org/CountyProjects, under the Transportation Projects link.