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$50 million project ahead of schedule; may save time and money

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A three-phase project that began in 2005 and was scheduled to be completed in February 2014 may just end ahead of schedule.

By PENNY FLETCHER

RIVERVIEW - A three-phase project that began in 2005 and was scheduled to be completed in February 2014 may just end ahead of schedule.

“We aren’t sure yet just how much time we’ve saved, but we’ve changed a few things that are really going to make a difference,” said county spokesman Steve Valdez.

This difference will be in both time and money.

“Right now, we’re on schedule, but we’ve had the bridges redesigned so we can do the work faster and more efficiently and still get the same result,” he continued. “In essence, we found that we could build the two spans by bringing in pre-cast structures and drilling instead of pounding them down. It’s just a matter of using different techniques than were originally planned.”

Phase III of the project is widening the portion of Boyette Road in Riverview from McMullen Road to Bell Shoals. The project, which is being done by Prince Contracting, based in Tampa, was engineered by and is being inspected by HW Lochner Inc. of Winter Garden and managed by Dana Mackey of Hillsborough County Roads and Streets.

Entirely a county project, the three-mile phase will widen the road from two to four lanes and have various sizes and styles of landscaped medians. There will also be bicycle paths and sidewalks on both sides of the road, Valdez said.

According to information provided on the county’s website by Mackey, the project is funded by the Community Investment Tax, which is a one-cent sales tax payable only in Hillsborough County.

The first two phases of the project also went well, but ran on schedule and did not finish early.

Phase I started at U.S. 301 and went east to Balm-Riverview Road in 2005. It was a one-and-a-half year project, Valdez said.

Phase II lasted from 2007 to early 2010, and was soon followed by the current phase.

The cost of the current phase is $22,373,614.00, with the total for the entire three-phase project at approximately $50 million, stated Valdez.

The project was designed by Orth-Rodgers engineering.

“It was started as a result of backed-up traffic all along Boyette Road especially at crucial times of day,” Valdez said. “I know it’s really inconvenient now and people are tired of seeing the work go on, but when it’s completed it will be well worth it.”

Traveling through the worksite, county workers often must reduce traffic to one-lane by holding up “Stop” and “Slow” signs to allow for the safety and movement of heavy equipment and workers.

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