THE ISSUE: U.S. 19 widening in Homosassa.

OUR OPINION: Get it done sooner, rather than later.

For the past three plus years, motorists and customers of local businesses along a 2.1 mile segment of U.S. 19 in Homosassa have been maneuvering lane shifts and navigating clear of orange road cones with no clear end in sight.

When the widening of the 2.1 mile stretch of U.S. 19 in Homosassa from Green Acres Street to West Jump Court was begun in early November 2016, the project was scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2019.

Despite the inconvenience of the road construction, motorists and local businesses impacted by it have been stoically exercising patience and perseverance. However, recurring delays that have pushed the completion date down the road from the spring of 2019, to the end of 2019, to the summer of 2020, and, most recently, to the end of 2020, the patience and perseverance of motorists and business owners are being stretched to the limits.

Particularly galling to motorists and business owners is that with the project at least 18 months behind the initial scheduled completion date, there appears to be no concerted effort to complete the project since many days have seen little to no work activity occurring.

Whatever the cause, D.A.B. Constructors - the contractor - FDOT, and county government do not appear to be concerned about the interminable inconvenience to the public.

As the frustration of motorists grows and the bottom line of affected businesses suffers more and more with the snail’s pace of construction, FDOT and county government need to urge the contractor to make the speeding up of the project’s completion a top priority.

To preclude a repeat of the interminable time it is taking to complete the 2.1 mile stretch of U.S. 19 in Homosassa, greater regard for the impact on the public for the second U.S. 19 widening phase of 4.7 miles from West Jump Court to Fort Island Trail in Crystal River needs to be a foremost consideration.

The public’s patience and perseverance can only be stretched so far. When one completion date after another is pushed further and further down the road with little work activity occurring, that’s when the snail’s pace becomes intolerable.