Oak Park Boulevard multi use path

Discussions are in the beginning stages regarding a multi-use path linking a portion of Sugarmill Woods to the Suncoast Parkway's pedestrian path. Vehicles above travel along West Oak Park Boulevard in Homosassa.

Depending on where you live in Sugarmill Woods, you’re not going to be far from the Suncoast Parkway Trail, now being built parallel to the toll road.

Some residents have asked county commissioners to make it easy to access that trail by building a multi-use path from Corkwood Boulevard to the parkway trail, a distance of almost a half-mile.

Commissioners said they like the idea and asked staff to explore costs and design.

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The $135 million Suncoast Parkway 2 Phase 1 project is already under construction, extending the road 12.7 miles from U.S. 98 at Sugarmill Woods to State Road 44 in Lecanto. It is scheduled to open in early 2022.

The Citrus County leg of the 42-mile Suncoast Trail will connect with the existing route in Hernando, Pasco and Hillsborough counties. A pedestrian overpass is being built over U.S. 98.

Several Sugarmill residents could park at the community clubhouse and go bike riding right to the trail. Others, especially near the Oak Village section, could access it from their home.

The new bike/pedestrian path received unanimous support from residents who were asked their thoughts on an email blast from the community.

“I bike three to four times a week,” resident Russ Fortune said. “I don’t bike the (parkway trail) due to the lack of safe access. I would love to see a bike path the full length of Oak Park.”

A report is scheduled to come back to the commission at its April 13 meeting.

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