WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (FOX 13) - Drivers in Wesley Chapel got a big Christmas present this year. The Bruce B. Downs widening project is finally complete.
Construction started in 2010, so it’s been a long eight years for all those who use this major thoroughfare.
Now drivers and neighbors hope it brings lasting results.
One driver called the construction project that went on for nearly a decade, “an endless nightmare.”
“It was just always some portion was always under construction,” Raegan Werts said.
Eight years later, crews have finally reached the finish line and drivers are fueling up with hopes of a smoother ride.
“It’s a much better commute. Now you’ve got all four lanes open pretty much,” said Francisco Reguero
Eight miles of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, from Bearss Avenue all the way to the Pasco County line, have been widened from four lanes to eight.
“In our business we know our projects make a difference in people’s lives. Easing traffic congestion, helping them get back and forth where they need to go to work and play; we feel really good about being able to make those differences in people’s lives,” Hillsborough Co. Public Works Director Jim Hudock explained.
The thoroughfare services the Wesley Chapel, New Tampa, and University of South Florida areas. It’s also a critical corridor for evacuations and emergency services.
“This will also provide an additional level of safety for people in the event of an emergency,” Hudock said.
Drivers aren’t the only ones who benefit from the project.
“I like the big wide sidewalks like me and the girls we run up them and stuff, when you towards palm you see people jogging, walking their kids, walking their animals,” pedestrian Sedracia Jackson told FOX 13 News.
Overall, many believe it was well worth the wait. But concerns are creeping up.
“There’s so many people in the area and adding people to the area that it feels like it’s going to have to start again,” Werts added.
For now, here’s for hoping the one hundred and thirty $1 million project makes a lasting impact.