A Hillsborough County project on McMullen Rd., near Riverview’s Rodgers Middle School, is expected to improve the route many children walk every day.

A safe route to school for students, especially in local middle schools, has been a topic for conversation in Hillsborough County for years, specifically since many bus routes were cut in 2017. But a new project on McMullen Rd., near Riverview’s Rodgers Middle School, is expected to improve the route many children walk every day.

According to the county’s Chris Wilkerson, the project continues efforts to facilitate a safe route to school in the area.

“The project will see the completion of sidewalks and a creation of a large waiting area where the students can gather to cross the busy street with the assistance of a crossing guard,” said Wilkerson.

The project will fill in gaps in the existing sidewalk, adding 5,500 feet of sidewalk along the west side of McMullen Rd. from north of Fawn Dale Dr. to north of Leonard Ave. and will add an additional 200 feet of sidewalk in front of Pep Boys Auto Service & Tire on McMullen Rd. to close the existing gap located several hundred feet south of Boyette Rd.

In addition, the county is providing a solution for the many students that cross a busy intersection to get to school.

“To increase safety for students waiting to cross McMullen Rd. at Tucker Rd., a large landing area for staging the high volume of pedestrian traffic will be maintained on the northwest corner of the intersection,” said Wilkerson.

To complete the project, existing paved or unpaved driveways will be paved from the road to the back of the new sidewalk, as well as extending cross drains as needed.

These projects are in addition to others completed in the past to make the area safer.

“Hillsborough County already has built new sidewalk for almost a half-mile along the north side of Tucker Rd. from McMullen Rd. to the school,” said Wilkerson. “The county also installed new crosswalks at Tucker Rd. and McMullen Rd. with pedestrian-activated flashing beacons. The new crosswalks allow for a crossing guard to work the intersection during high-traffic times of day.”

The total cost of this phase of the project is $1.23 million and should be complete in mid-2022.

To learn more, visit www.hcflgov.net. The school is located at 11910 Tucker Rd. in Riverview and can be reached at 671-5288.

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Kate Quesada is the Multimedia Manager for the Osprey Observer Newspapers. She has been working for the paper in various positions since 2005 when she graduated with her Masters degree in mass communications. She lives in Valrico with her husband Mike and son Dylan.