The Suncoast Parkway 2 project, which has been in the works for years, has gotten the green light.
Linking established areas of development in Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando Counties, the four-lane, limited-access Suncoast Parkway has maintained its distinctive aesthetic design, which was developed to ensure a memorable and consistent overall scenic image.
The design of the Suncoast Corridor, which includes the Suncoast Parkway and Suncoast Trail, is based on guidelines that help to ensure its harmony with the surrounding environment and a visually pleasing experience for the traveler.
If you have ever traveled from Citrus County towards Tampa, you might have taken the superbly maintained and uncongested Suncoast Parkway.
Well, great news, they are going to be extending it all the way into Citrus County.
Governor Rick Scott included $149 million towards the project in his proposed budget earlier this year, so this is going to become a reality.
The proposed plan is to have it eventually extend to I-75 or I-10 in the future. But for now, the key benefit for residents of the Villages of Citrus Hills is that this new highway will make it incredibly easy to shoot down to Tampa anytime you like!
The Suncoast Parkway Extension: Details
The proposed highway would be a 13-mile extension from the top of the existing Suncoast Parkway, which currently ends at the line between Hernando County and Citrus County. The extension would continue the highway up into Citrus County, all the way to State Route 44 in Lecanto with an interchange in Homosassa.
This extension will be constructed in two phases. Phase one would cover the ground from the current parkway to Cardinal Street. Then phase two would continue the rest of the way to S.R. 44. When the Parkway readies S.R. 44 it will be just a 10-minute drive from the front gate of Terra Vista.
Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in 2016 and finish sometime in 2019. The total estimated cost for the project is $223 million.
Tolls on the new highway are expected to be about 11 cents per mile, which would be in line with the rest of the Suncoast Parkway.
The Suncoast Parkway Extension: Benefits
According to state officials, the primary benefit of the Suncoast Parkway Extension will be the ability to transport goods to and from ports much easier along the Nature Coast. There will also be benefits that stem from having more connected state facilities.
Of course, there are also going to be huge benefits for residents of the Villages of Citrus Hills who enjoy taking day trips or weekend trips to many of the great destinations around Tampa…and even further south.