THONOTOSASSA — Construction is under way on the four-lane widening of U.S. 301 from Harney Road to Jackson Road.
The work is being done along a 2.7-mile stretch of the highway from Harney Road east of Temple Terrace to Jackson Road north of East Fowler Avenue.
State highway officials hired Prince Contracting of Tampa to add one new lane in each direction, raise the medians and reconfigure several intersections, Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kris Carson said.
Prince Contracting also is widening Interstate 75 to six lanes from Fowler Avenue to south of State Road 56 in south Pasco County.
Both road projects are progressing simultaneously a few miles apart. The aim is to help ease traffic congestion on the two north-south corridors by early 2016.
An open house focused on U.S. 301 improvements is set from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the state department of transportation’s auditorium at 11201 N. McKinley Drive.
“We usually do an open house about a month after we start construction” of a road project, Carson said. “We want the public to come out to meet the contractor and see how the whole process works.”
U.S. 301 is a two-lane road from the Hillsborough-Pasco county line south to Harney Road. When construction is completed, it will have two lanes in each direction with raised medians and new sidewalks on both sides of the road.
State transportation officials have budgeted $21.4 million for the project.
Improvements include closing or changing left-turn openings at several intersections along U.S. 301. Left turns will be eliminated onto U.S. 301 from the Temple Terrace Youth Complex, Jefferson Road, Sunset Memory Gardens, Williams Road and Tom Folsom Road, Carson said.
Existing traffic signals at the University East Shopping Center will be replaced. A new signal also will be added at U.S. 301 and East Fowler Avenue near the Petro Mart.
Most of the work will take place at night and outside the current travel lanes. However, construction barriers are being placed along segments of the construction zone to slow traffic during work hours.