Kinnan, Mansfield connector divides more than sections of roadway

- There’s a new push to connect two roads that dead end in right in front of each other. There’s also a push to make sure it doesn’t happen.

Connecting them instantly creates a new route between New Tampa and Wesley chapel but for folks in Wesley Chapel say that's a problem, not a solution.

For years there's been discussion over connecting two roads that would create a new route between New Tampa and Wesley Chapel.

County officials from both Hillsborough and Pasco have been evaluating whether it's a good idea to connect Kinnan Street and Mansfield Blvd, but residents have expressed opposing viewpoints.

While some people argue the roadway connection is essential, especially for first responders, others say it would only create more traffic.

Now, two petitions are making the rounds in hopes of showing county officials what people really want.

Gary Vermani, who lives in Hillsborough County, created the petition that supports connecting the two roads.

"The bigger issue is the EMS, the police," said Vermani, "there have been cases where it takes a long time for police and paramedics to come over and the reason is there's only one route."

Chris Dillinger opposes the project and says many residents in Pasco County are on the same page. He recently created another petition to share this public opinion with county officials.

"I just feel strongly enough about it and apparently a lot of other people do too," said Dillinger.

With hundreds of new homes being built nearby, Dillinger says traffic is going to get heavier and he fears opening up Mansfield Blvd to commuters coming in through Hillsborough would be detrimental to his neighborhood.

Pasco County officials are currently studying the roadway connection project and are expected to release their results between April-May 2018.

Vermani says he plans to bring the issue up before Hillsborough County officials during their next public meeting set for Wednesday, May 2.

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