BLOOMINGDALE – RIVERVIEW, FL — In one of Hillsborough County’s fastest-growing areas, a major transportation corridor and interstate exchange project will improve safety and ease traffic for residents in the SouthShore region thanks in to a $25 million Federal Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant, officials said.
Hillsborough County has been awarded the BUILD grant to help improve the Big Bend Road corridor and make it safer for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists as well as parents and children commuting to the two Hillsborough County schools on the corridor.
Plans include a multi-modal roadway with wide shared use asphalt paths and bike lanes along Old Big Bend Road that connect new neighborhoods in the area to the schools, shops and recreational activities along the corridor. The road originally was built in the 1960s when the area was primarily rural, but in the past 10 years, the corridor has bloomed with new single-family neighborhoods, creating a busy road without good options for pedestrians.
The $25 million Hillsborough County BUILD grant will be used to widen and reconstruct the existing interchange at Big Bend Road and I-75, including additional bicycle lanes and multi-use paths and a roundabout at the intersection Old Big Bend Road and Bullfrog Creek Road.
The corridor is among the most accident-prone in Hillsborough County. Because Big Bend Road has a high percentage of crashes as a result of drivers failing to yield right-of-way, the new intersections include traffic signals and more lighting to improve visibility and reduce crashes, particularly at night. The project will improve safety along the corridor for years to come as it is designed to handle the dramatic growth in the area.