D.A.B. mess

The U.S. 19 widening project came to a halt after the company contracted to do the work, D.A.B. Constructors Inc., suddenly closed shop. Work has resumed on the stretch from West Jump Court to West Fort Island Trail.

It took over two months, but the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has found a new contractor to complete the widening on U.S. 19.

But only part of it.

The surety handling the project in the wake of former contractor D.A.B. Constructors’ bankruptcy filing in September, has signed a contract with Tampa-based PCS Civil to complete the widening of the 4.7-mile section from West Jump Court to West Fort Island Trail.

Get more from the Citrus County Chronicle

Preliminary work began Monday but should be more noticeable soon. The project is slated to wrap up in fall/winter 2023.

The widening project is broken into two separate projects with two separate contractors.

The state is still negotiating with a Palm Harbor-based Nelson Construction to finish the 2.1-mile stretch from West Green Acres to West Jump Court.

Because of driver concerns,  FDOT is looking into adjusting the traffic signal timings along that stretch.

“It is good news,” said County Commissioner Jeff Kinnard, who chairs the Hernando-Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization. “They have got a pretty limited window by contract to finish it up. I’ve heard very good things about both contractors.”

Suncoast Parkway

Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise has announced the dates and construction funding for the next phases of the Suncoast Parkway 2 extensions.

• From State Road 44 to County Road 486: the 3-mile extension is funded for construction in fiscal year 2023. The road is scheduled to terminate about 1,500 feet east of the Pine Ridge entrance.

Cost including right of way acquisition and construction: $90 million.

• From State Road 486 to North Citrus Avenue (County Road 495); Design on that 6-mile extension will start Jan. 22, 2022, and be funded for fiscal year 2026 at a cost of $226 million.

• The stretch from County Road 495 to U.S. 19 is funded for design only in fiscal year 2023. No cost is listed.

The total cost of all Suncoast Parkway projects in Citrus County over the next five years is $317 million.

“That’s big news to have design and construction funded to County Road 495,” Kinnard said. 

The parkway, once all phases are done, "will be a game changer for the entire county,” he said.

State Road 200

The recently installed traffic light at the County Road 491 and State Road 200 intersection is currently on flash mode.

But it should be fully operational by next week, said FDOT spokeswoman Kris Carson.

This deadly corner has seen numerous accidents and two fatal ones this year alone.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com. To see more of his stories, visit  tinyurl.com/y6kb23vv.