After years of debate over connecting Mansfield Blvd. in Wesley Chapel to Kinnan St. in New Tampa for through traffic, the consolation prize (for those who unsuccessfully fought for that connection) could be completed by the end of this year.
MI Homes, which is developing New Tampa’s K-Bar Ranch community, located directly to the south of Meadow Pointe, has targeted Dec. 31 as a completion date for the K-Bar Ranch Pkwy. connection to Meadow Pointe Blvd., opening up traffic in both directions.
Although the Pasco County side of the connection is completed, there are still some permitting issues to resolve that could stretch that completion date into 2022, but the goal is sometime this year.
The Meadow Pointe Blvd. connection will be the only northbound way out of K-Bar Ranch or southbound way into K-Bar Ranch (other than Morris Bridge Rd.) when K-Bar Ranch Pkwy. is completed.
The roadway is currently under construction. About 100 feet of dirt road separate the southern end of Meadow Pointe Blvd. and the connector, which will lead to K-Bar Ranch Pkwy.
After the debate over Kinnan-Mansfield intensified in 2018, and after years of negotiating with Hillsborough County, Pasco County commissioned a study that recommended connecting those two roads for emergency use only. A gate that can only be accessed by emergency response vehicles is supposed to be keeping motorists from crossing the Pasco and Hillsborough county lines (although we reported in a previous issue vehicles have been bypassing the gate).
However, the study did recommend instead making a connection at the unfinished Meadow Pointe Blvd., as well as at Wyndfields Blvd. further to the east.
The Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) also conducted a Connections Survey, and 67 percent of approximately 1,200 residents who voted made the connection to Meadow Pointe Blvd. the No. 1 choice.
One of the primary arguments against Kinnan-Mansfield, but for Meadow Pointe Blvd, made by District 2 Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore and others, was the ability of each road to handle the additional traffic — the Roadways Report suggested it could add as many as 4,000 vehicles — from Hillsborough County.
Mansfield Blvd. is a two-lane road as is Meadow Pointe Blvd. (though in our last print edition we said it was four lanes, our apologies) and connecting to New Tampa via Meadow Pointe Blvd. instead of Mansfield Blvd. was the “most sensible choice,” according to District 5 commissioner Jack Mariano.
K-Bar Ranch Pkwy. is being constructed in segments and, once each road segment is completed, it will permit the developers to build more homes in that area.
Segment C, starting at the Kinnan St. entrance, is currently completed. Segment D, which is partially completed, will connect to the Meadow Pointe Blvd. extension, which also is under construction.