Construction is expected to begin soon for improvements to the intersection at Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Fishhawk Trails Dr./Hawkpark Blvd. in Lithia.

Residents of Fish Hawk Trails and Phase One of FishHawk Ranch will be please to know that help for the intersection at the entrance to the communities and Lithia Pinecrest Rd. is on the way.

According to Hillsborough County, improvements at Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Fishhawk Trails Dr./Hawkpark Blvd. in Lithia will include a new traffic signal, resurfacing and new crosswalks. The construction is expected to be completed by mid-2022.

The improvements will also benefit the students who use the sidewalks to commute to Newsome High and Randall Middle Schools on Fishhawk Blvd.

According to Hillsborough County’s Chris Wilkerson, both intersection improvement projects enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety by incorporating Vision Zero principles and ADA-compliant sidewalks.

“Impacts for residents and commuters in the area will include utility relocations and installations in the corridor, along with normal construction noise caused by heavy equipment and excavation,” said Wilkerson. “Intermittent lane closures may occur throughout construction. Safe access to homes and businesses will be maintained.”

Construction is expected to begin soon, and all associated work is scheduled to be completed by mid-2022.

The total cost for the project is $1.3 million, with $311,000 allocated for design and land and $960,000 estimated for construction. According to the county, funding sources may include developer contributions, financing, gas taxes, grants and ad valorem tax revenue.

The goals of the project are to improve vehicular access to Lithia Pinecrest Rd. from the adjoining subdivisions and to provide a marked pedestrian route across Lithia Pinecrest Rd. to improve pedestrian access.

Public comment was open for the project last month, and according to the county, the feedback was unanimously in support of the improvements, especially for the light and sidewalks, with many residents mentioning the students who use the road to travel to school daily.

To learn more, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org. To read the public comments on the project, visit www.publicinput.com/hcengage.

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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.