RIVERVIEW — A three-phase project to widen Boyette Road in Riverview is alleviating east-west traffic flow, especially at rush hour, in the areas that have been completed.
But areas currently under construction are reduced to a crawl as cars and trucks pour from developments and shopping plazas on both sides of the road at just about all times of the day.
A project of the Hillsborough County Public Works Department, the price tag for the total three-phase road widening is $55 million.
“The land acquisition alone has cost us more than 11 million,” said the project’s design manager, William Alford. “We had to deal with many different entities, some that required purchase and some that didn’t. Each piece we purchased had to be obtained separately which always presents some difficulty. And the cost for the design phase was $2.8 million.”
The project in its entirety extends from U.S. 301 to Bell Shoals Road in Riverview, which is approximately five miles in length.
The first phase of the project began five years ago. Two phases have since been completed. The design firm of, Rodgers Inc. was in charge of the entire project from U.S. 301 to Bell Shoals Road.
“They were based in Tampa at that time, but have since moved to Philadelphia,” he said.
The last of the three phases has finally begun. This phase will completely revamp the stretch of roadway along Boyette Road between McMullen and Bell Shoals roads, Alford explained.
Prince Contracting, LLC, was awarded this portion of the project, said Dana Mackey, who is the project’s manager of construction for Hillsborough County Public Works.
“They started the third phase in August 2010 and expect to finish by late February 2014,” Mackey said.
The reason it will take longer for the third and final portion of the project is that not only is the highway being brought from two lanes to six and concrete sidewalks built on each side, but in this section a new bridge must be built over Bell Creek. Utility reconstruction will also be done.
Upgrading of traffic signals and turn lanes has been completed at the corner of McMullen and Boyette roads, but more turn lanes must be constructed at points where the road approaches developments, especially Boyette Springs, in which there is also an elementary school.
Large culverts are currently being buried to carry water runoff to avoid flooding.
No new street lighting has been budgeted for this project, Mackey said.
“This is a really large project,” Mackey said. “It involves four new lanes of construction plus all that goes with that.”
The new construction will stop at Bell Shoals Road. There is no need to continue across that intersection because its continuation, FishHawk Boulevard, is a newer and wider road, she said.
FishHawk Boulevard is the eastern continuation of Boyette Road, while the same east-west road west of U.S. 301 is called Gibsonton Drive until it reaches U.S. 41.
The construction cost breakdown is $5.18 million for the first phase; $15.8 million for the second phase and $23.5 million for the third phase, Mackey said.
“The new bridge and longer stretch make the last phase more expensive,” she added.