Improvements on three main highways in Hernando County are in various stages of completion.
The first phase of County Line Road widening is still on schedule for an early 2010 finish. Construction on Elgin Boulevard and Sunshine Grove Road should start by the first quarter of 2010.
The four-laning of County Line Road from U.S. 19 east to Cobblestone Road should be done in about five-and-a-half months, to the relief of merchants along that stretch.
Work started in January.
The first phase of widening will cost $14.4 million. The Florida Department of Transportation, using federal and state money, is providing the bulk of the funding. The county is kicking in money to help match federal funds.
The widening of a 0.8-mile stretch of Elgin Boulevard, from Mariner Boulevard east to Village Van Gogh, is still a ways off.
County Engineer Charles Mixson said there are still about six or seven properties along the north side of Elgin the county needs to acquire by eminent domain. The plan is to start bidding the project out by the end of 2009, he said.
The $8 million widening of Sunshine Grove Road - which was supposed to begin this year - is still on hold until Progress Energy removes the power poles along the road.
Barring any problems, the county could go out for bid on the roadwork construction by the end of the year, Mixson said.
Progress Energy Florida spokeswoman Suzanne Grant said in an earlier interview that pole relocation could begin as early as October.
Meanwhile, Mixson said at Tuesday's county commission meeting that Hernando could receive millions in additional federal stimulus money, which would help get some road projects already earmarked for resurfacing and/or improvements under way.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) requested Hernando County create a second list of road projects eligible for the money.
The FDOT is "moving very fast" on these projects and wants to spend the money to get the roads resurfaced, Mixson told county commissioners this week.
Mixson said this stimulus money will help the county's pavement management program and free up dollars for other capital improvements.
The first phase projects are out to bid and work could get started soon after those bids are opened next month, Mixson said.
The projects in the first phase totaled about $8 million, he said.
The second phase list is completed and now needs to go before the county's Metropolitan Planning Organization in August for discussion and approval.
Mixson said he hopes to get at least two or three of these projects funded through the millions of dollars available in stimulus money.
Here's a list of the phase two projects:
* Spring Lake Highway, from Mountain View Road to State Road 50 - about 13,000 feet of roadway will be widened and a new asphalt overlay applied. Start date: spring 2010. Cost: $2.4 million.
* Spring Hill Drive, from California Street to U.S. 41 - base work and resurfacing. Start date: December 2010. Cost: $932,000.
* Wiscon Road, from State Road 50 to U.S. 41 ¬- base work and resurfacing. Start date: December 2010. Cost: $1 million.
* Ayers Road, from U.S. 41 to Culbreath Road - base work and reconstruction. Start date: December 2010. Cost: $1.2 million.
* Culbreath Road, from Pasco County line north to Powell Road - resurfacing. Start date: December 2010. Cost: $684,167.
* Sunshine Grove Road, from Hexam Road north to Centralia Road - resurfacing. Start date: December 2010. Cost: $793,625.
* Emerson Road, from Powell Road north to State Road 50 - resurfacing. Start date: December 2010. Cost: $595,350.
* Spring Lake Highway, from Hayman Road to Mountainview Road ¬- road reconstruction. Start date: December 2009. Cost: $1.4 million.
* Sunshine Grove Road, from State Road 50 north to just south of Sweet Gum Road - widening project. Start date: November 2009. Cost: $6.6 million.