Plans are underway to widen Bruce B. Downs Blvd. from Bearss Avenue to the Pasco County line. Heavy commuter traffic travels southbound on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in the morning and northbound in the evening. As new development in the New Tampa area and Pasco County continues, this traffic is expected to worsen. To prevent or delay the need for costly road widening, the New North Transportation Alliance seeks to promote alternative transportation options to provide better mobility for commuters and ease traffic congestion. These options include carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling, walking, public transit, telecommuting and alternative work hours.
The Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners, in their meeting of December 2, 2009, voted to approve the prioritization of Segment A (Bearss Avenue to Palm Springs Blvd.) over Segment D (Pebble Creek Drive to County Line Road) for earlier widening. A study had also been authorized analyzing the 6- versus 8-lane options for Segments A and D. County staff was directed to work with HART and the Hillsborough MPO to determine the most appropriate configuration of Segments A and D to accommodate short- and long-term transit improvements along Bruce B. Downs Blvd. A Project Development & Environment Study (PD&E) on the widening of Bruce B. Downs Blvd. was conducted in 2003.
The Hillsborough MPO 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan contains the widening of Bruce B. Downs Blvd. from Bearss Avenue to Palm Springs Drive, shown as planned to be widened from 4-lane divided to 6-lane divided and that such widening would be paid for through sales tax revenues. More Information
In January 2009, County staff gave a presentation before the NNTA Board regarding the issues around widening Segment A, which lies within the New North service area, to 6 lanes versus 8 lanes. The presentation can be viewed here.