Improvements on Hillsborough transportation can stimulate economy

With 500,000 people migrating to the county, Hillsborough transportation improvements could connect plans with job centers.

Hillsborough’s Transportation Policy Leadership Group – a panel comprised of county commissioners, the county’s three mayors and the chairman of the HART bus system – has been asked to make major transportation improvements in order to fuel the local economy.

Research shows that by 2040, Hillsborough County’s population will grow by more than 500,000 people. And, in a recent study, the Tampa Bay area was ranked the 22nd worst out of 105 metro areas in traffic congestion.

In an effort to acclimate the 500,000 people expected to migrate to Hillsborough County, 800 additional lane miles of arterial roads and 208 lane miles of freeway will have to be added.

Hillsborough County Economic Development Director Ron Barton communicated to the panel the importance of addressing the issues concerning the area’s road network. The roads and bridges serve as the economic “gateways” businesses require for their goods and workers.

Planning will begin in early 2014, and a decision on how to pay for it will follow later on in the year.

For more details, read the full article from the Tampa Tribune.