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Land O'Lakes roadwork nears end

Weather willing, construction to widen State Road 54 and U.S. 41 should be done this summer, to the delight of commuters.

By JAMES THORNER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 14, 2002

LAND O'LAKES -- Two major highway widening projects that have gummed up traffic for months in Land O'Lakes are scheduled to wrap up this summer.

For a 2-mile stretch of State Road 54 that is growing from two to four lanes between Collier Parkway and Cypress Creek, the tentative completion date is June.

The contractors, Cone & Graham Inc., expect to finish the $6-million project about a month earlier than anticipated, DOT spokeswoman Kris Carson said. "It looked like they were going to finish in July but now we're looking at the beginning of June," Carson said last week.

On the second big highway overhaul, 3 miles of U.S. 41 between Bell Lake and Tower roads, DAB Contractors Inc. expects to finish by the end of August.

The U.S. 41 job costs $10.4-million and includes widening the road from two lanes to six in what is considered the heart of Land O'Lakes.

Since work began on both roads last August, Land O'Lakes has suffered a plague of traffic jams, jams that should dissolve, at least temporarily, when the projects end.

The completion of SR 54 ensures four lanes of asphalt from Interstate 75 to U.S. 41. When the U.S. 41 work is finished, the highway will run for six lanes from central Land O'Lakes south to Bearss Avenue in north Tampa.

Carson said the scheduled completion dates could change if road crews face unusually bad weather.

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