As major road projects designed to ease congestion come to fruition this year — the Diverging Diamond Interchange at S.R. 56/I-75 and the widening of S.R. 54 — another smaller project expected to have a big impact should be completed by the end of the year.
Wiregrass Ranch Blvd. (drone photo, right, by Charmaine George), which will run from just north of S.R. 56 all the way north to S.R. 54, will be fully open by December, if not earlier — if weather and the ability to secure construction supplies is not disruptive — according to Wiregrass Ranch developer JD Porter.
While not as massive as the aforementioned projects, Porter says Wiregrass Ranch Blvd. will play a big role in easing traffic in the area and providing the kind of connectivity the county is lacking. It also will serve as a major thoroughfare for future residents of the Wiregrass area.
“I think the changes, at least on a local perspective, will be as great as they were when S.R. 56 was built through Wiregrass Ranch,” Porter says. “This provides a parallel alternative to Bruce B. Downs, as well as helping with necessary spacing for the S.R. 54/I-75 interchange.”
Mansfield Blvd., which runs from County Line Rd. to S.R. 56, transitions into Wiregrass Ranch Blvd. at the first of three roundabouts.
Wiregrass Ranch Blvd. is located just east of Lajuana Blvd., which provides access to Audi Wesley Chapel, the Fairfield Inn & Suites and the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus of Pasco County.
It runs north past Chancey Blvd, and currently ends at the entrance to Esplanade at Wiregrass Ranch, a community for ages 55+.
There is roughly a mile of construction remaining. The road will run past the Walmart Super Center and end at S.R. 54.
Wiregrass Ranch Blvd. will be a major artery for the Wiregrass Ranch community. Porter says it’s not just another local road or one merely built for the development of homes, but the kind of game- changing road project that will bring more value to area schools, including Pasco Hernando State College on Mansfield, and provide a significant upgrade for local residents trying to get to the area’s many shopping and dining options.
Once the road is completed at the end of the year, long-awaited development of the Wiregrass Ranch area around the road will begin, including a proposed town center area that will act as the area’s downtown.
“Almost immediately once that road opens you’ll see users along that road,” Porter says, adding that some are already under contract and just waiting to get in. “It is kind of the kick off. There will be office people and retail people. You’re going to see that stuff start to happen.”