By LINDA CHION KENNEY
Hillsborough County officials seek public feedback through Sunday for scheduled intersection improvements at Summerfield Crossing Boulevard in Riverview at Big Bend Road.
With new traffic lights at the northeast, northwest and southeast intersection quadrants, safety is the focus, with roadway modifications that include turn-lane extensions and resurfacing.
The project also calls for sidewalks along Summerfield Crossing Boulevard on the west side of the Hillsborough County fire station in Riverview, at 10817 Big Bend Road. Included also are curb ramps and crosswalks on all four legs of the intersection.
According to County officials “impacts for residents and commuters in the area will include utility relocations and installations in the corridor and normal construction noise caused by heavy equipment and evacuation.”
Construction on the $1.4 million project is expected to begin this year, with all associated work scheduled for completion by mid-2022.
“It’s about time, after multiple accident[s] on a weekly basis,” said one survey respondent, in comments posted at the Hillsborough County Engagement Hub, where public feedback on the project is sought until Sunday, Sept. 5. “I live in the subdivision in the back of the firehouse, and I just sold my house to get away from the constant accidents. Too late for us, but thank God it’s getting done.”
Also calling it “a good idea,” another respondent noted the explosive growth in the area and their perception that there is “zero to little investment in the infrastructure to support it.”
“An immediate moratorium on the building of any new housing in all of Riverview, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Wimauma and Gibsonton should be put in place for at least five years,” added the respondent, noting that 10 years would be better, “with the stipulation for removing it being that the infrastructure has been completely updated to support future growth.”
A third respondent used the occasion to ask about a 4-mile section of construction on U.S. Highway 301 from Sun City Center to Balm, asking after four years and still ongoing, “Why do these projects take so long to complete?”
Feedback on the Summerfield Crossing Boulevard intersection improvements will be forwarded to project manager Pierre Valles. The project aims to alleviate congestion on both sides of Summerfield Crossing Boulevard and on Big Bend Road auxiliary lanes, increase queue length for turn lanes and enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety with “Vision Zero” principles that include ADA-compliant sidewalks.
Another survey respondent noted a personal interest in seeing the project achieve its intended intersection improvements.
“We’ve lived here for just under two years, and we have been witness to numerous accidents at this intersection,” the respondent said. “We even advise our friends to avoid this area.”
Added another respondent, who offered his assessment as if the improvements and their intended value were already a done deal, “Thank you for making Big Bend safer.”
For more details on the project and to provide feedback visit the Hillsborough County Engagement Hub at www.PublicInput.com/hcengage/.