By MELODY JAMESON
GIBSONTON – Prompted by known criminal activity and uncontrolled dumping, Hillsborough County commissioners next week will consider permanently closing part of Kracker Avenue here.
The paved, two-lane roadway in question runs west from U.S. 41 for approximately a mile, then turns sharply at a 90º angle and proceeds southward for approximately a half mile to link with Adamsville Avenue, essentially creating a loop. The portions of both Kracker and Adamsville Avenues on an east-west alignment are the settings for a number of private homes.
The part of the loop on a north-south alignment, however, is not inhabited and over the years has become a sort of linear dumping ground, an unofficial garbage heap where area residents have disposed of a wide assortment of their unwanteds. From old tires to old mattresses to old appliances and all manner of litter in between, it has been dumped along the little roadway that parallels a brackish marsh adjacent to Tampa Bay.
“As fast as we clean it, it fills up with junk again,” said Steve Valdez, spokesman for Hillsborough’s Public Works Department. “It’s being considered for permanent closure at citizen request,” supported by the county’s code enforcement division, he added.
The matter is scheduled to come up during Hillsborough’s Board of County Commissioners regular meeting Wednesday, June 15, Valdez noted.
If commissioners approve the proposed closure, both Kracker and Adamsville avenues will end at their sharp angle turns, each becoming only an east-west deadend road and unlinked. At this point, both roadways probably will be barricaded, fenced and gated across their widths to block further ingress, Valdez said. Signage announcing the closures also will be posted at the sites “and, if that doesn’t work, additional obstacles can be placed,” he added.
“The ironic part,” Valdez noted “is that there’s a county landfill collection station about a mile further down U.S. 41 – and it’s free.”
Copyright 2011 Melody Jameson