Parkway-486 map

The latest FDOT proposal shows an interchange from the Suncoast Parkway at C.R. 486 east of the Pine Ridge entrance.

Nobody knows for sure where the Suncoast Parkway will continue once it reaches State Road 44.

The ultimate goal is for it to head to County Road 486 and beyond to Georgia or Interstate 10. Exactly where on C.R. 486, no one knows, but preliminary maps show two project alternatives east of the Pine Ridge entrance with no connection to that community.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will display these alternatives with corresponding maps during a public information meeting from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Citrus County National Guard Armory, 8551 W. Venable St. in Crystal River.

There will be no formal presentation. Attendees will be able to meet with FDOT officials and ask questions.

Work on the $134.6 million project extending the Suncoast Parkway from U.S. 98 to State Road 44 began in April and is expected to wrap up in 2022. 

The state is committing $86.6 million to design, buy right of way and build the additional 3 miles between State Road 44 and C.R. 486 in Lecanto. That work could start in 2024.

The still-to-be-determined route from State Road 44 is of particular concern to Pine Ridge residents who fear it could go near their homes.

The S.R. 44 to C.R. 486 extension has taken on many looks the past two years, and with state officials actively looking at extending the parkway to I-10 or the Georgia border, it’s unknown what the extension will look like or even if it will happen at all.

For information, visit www.suncoast2.com.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com.

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