LUTZ - It's time to move it or lose it for businesses and homeowners with signs or other items encroaching upon the right-of-way along the northernmost several miles of Dale Mabry Highway. That's the word from the state Department of Transportation, about to begin repaving that 3.6-mile stretch of the four-lane thoroughfare from Van Dyke Road to the Pasco County line.
The $5 million project, which officially began Monday and is scheduled for completion next spring, includes installing sidewalks on each side of the highway, except in three sections between Van Dyke Road and Cheval Boulevard, where timber boardwalks will be built adjacent to wetlands.
"The first few days, motorists will just see the signs going up and some of the equipment being brought out," said Kris Carson, a DOT spokeswoman in the agency's Tampa district office. "But in a few weeks, they will start seeing the construction of the timber boardwalks, the new sidewalks and the resurfacing."
The repaving, of course, will require lane closures, which will occur during both day and night, however not during morning and afternoon rush hours, according to the agency.
Closure of the southbound lanes is not anticipated between 6:30 and 10 a.m. Likewise, closure of northbound lanes is not anticipated between 3:30 and 8 p.m.
Clearing the right-of-way must occur before construction begins.
"Some people have irrigation in state right-of-way, or they'll have a sign they need to get checked to make sure it's not in the way of the project; the sidewalks and boardwalks especially," Carson advised.
Mailings sent to impacted property owners state "various unauthorized encroachments" have been placed in the DOT right-of-way over the years, including fences, curb stops, light posts, decorative walls and landscaping. "If you have anything located in the department's right-of-way that you want to salvage, it must be removed within the next two weeks to avoid damage by the contractor," the mailing warns. Owners of Dale Mabry frontage properties along the 3.6-mile stretch with questions about the location of the highway right-of-way line, or about items required to be moved, should contact the project administrator, Kouser Manzer, (813) 612-3300.
The repaving contractor is Lane Construction, a Connecticut-based company with its Southeast regional office in Maitland, near Orlando, and operator of 70 asphalt plants, including one in Tampa. Founded in 1890 by railroad engineer John S. Lane, the company repaved Daytona International Speedway in 2010.
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