Research by Joel Provenzano
An unnamed, under-construction 248-unit apartment complex on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. (south of the northern terminus of Eagleston Blvd. and the Wells Fargo Bank) in Seven Oaks also includes some future traffic pattern changes on BBD.
The complex, which is owned and being developed by Mast Capital — which also is redeveloping the nearby Saddlebrook Resort and its surrounding community — is being required to make some significant changes in anticipation of the additional BBD traffic the complex will generate.
As the apartment community nears completion, construction of these roadway improvements has begun and motorists on BBD will soon notice even more significant mainline roadway work over the coming weeks.
All of the roadwork on and near BBD is being paid for and completed by the developer of the apartments (currently known only as “5101 Bruce B. Downs Apts.”) — other than a new traffic signal to be located south of the community’s entrance (and the existing Frontier Communications building). That signal, which had no timeline as we went to press, will be paid for by the developers of Wiregrass Ranch, which is located across BBD from the new apartment community.
Here’s a breakdown of the coming traffic changes on BBD:
1) The primary entrance (see photo below) to the 16.24-acre complex will be a gated right-in/right-out only. This means traffic intending to enter the development coming from the south on BBD will be required to use a long northbound U-turn lane that the developer will be constructing, which will feed into a new, long southbound right turn entrance to the apartments. The right turn lane is being made extra long so a bus stop pad can be placed north of the area for U-turning traffic to enter the turn lane. The pad will be connected by a sidewalk that will enter directly into the apartments for ease of access.
2) In order to accommodate this nonstandard median opening for the U-turn, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is requiring that the existing adjacent median opening on BBD serving Wells Fargo (entrance is in gray on map) will be closed.
3) In addition, the existing northbound left turn lane serving that opening will just be connected to the existing one for the traffic signal, making for an extra long turn lane going southbound.
Moreover, because of the size of the apartments, an emergency access driveway is required by the county at the north end of the property, just south of the bank, that won’t be open to other traffic.
With all of these changes in the works, vehicles both exiting Wells Fargo and the new apartments that intend to go north will have to go down to another new southbound U-turn lane that will be attached to the existing median opening in front of the Frontier Communications Hub building located south of the apartments.
The U-turn lane is being made long and wide enough for it to be converted in the future to southbound dual lefts, as this median opening will serve as the future location for a traffic signal at BBD and the “Wiregrass Bypass Rd.” that will connect BBD to Wiregrass Ranch Blvd. (south of Walmart) and eventually swing up to connect with SR 54 near Saddlebrook.
At our press time, we had no word from Wiregrass Ranch developer JD Porter regarding the anticipated date as to when construction of the new Bypass Rd. or the traffic signal at BBD and the Bypass Rd. will begin.
But, as always, we will keep you posted as more info becomes available.