The eastern branch of Pasco County Road 54 forms part of the Zephryhills West Bypass along Eiland Boulevard and a regional route east to U.S. 98 toward Lakeland. The portion along Eiland Boulevard includes a wide right of way reserved for a long planned four-lane expansion. East of U.S. 301 (Gall Boulevard), County Road 54 serves an array of manufactured home communities through unincorporated Zephyrhills North. Beyond the CSX Railroad line, the CR 54 transitions into a rural two-lane highway en route to Branchborough and U.S. 98 along the Polk County line.

County Road 54 through the Zephyrhills area measures 12.69 miles in length. The north-south leg along Eiland Boulevard runs concurrent with County Road 579 for 1.85 miles. The overlap was meant to be temporary, with CR 54 eventually extending west on a new alignment proposed for SR 54. The Zephyrhills West Bypass Extension was studied in 2002 and planned for construction in phases between 2016 and 2020. Work never started however, and attention shifted focus to completing the SR 56 eastern extension to U.S. 301 instead.


County Road 54 east & 579 north
CR 54 eastbound begins along side CR 579, which extends north from Morris Bridge Road and Tampa onto Eiland Boulevard. Photo taken 09/11/17.
Eiland Boulevard wraps around Zephyrhills West to Geiger Road, which provides part of a six-mile route to Downtown Zephyrhills. CR 579 leads north from CR 54 toward the city of San Antonio, located ten miles away at the crossroads of CR 577 (Curley Street) and SR 52. Photo taken 09/11/17.
Eiland Boulevard commences a gradual eastern curve between the Merrifield and Chapel Creek developments as County Road 579 parts ways with CR 54 for Handcart Road north. Traffic lights were added at their separation during a project from March to August 13, 2018.1 Photo taken 09/11/17.
County Road 54 east
The planned Zephyrhills West Bypass Extension would tie into the existing Eiland Boulevard alignment just ahead of Evansbrook Drive south and Clifton Down Drive north. Photo taken 05/05/15.
The right-of-way along Eiland Boulevard encompasses a grassy swath along the north side of CR 54 reserved for future four-lane expansion. Advancing east, CR 54 passes by the abandoned Hidden Creek golf course ahead of Old Geiger Road. Closed in 2009, the golf course was targeted for redevelopment for a 300-home community in 2017.2 Photo taken 05/05/15.
Construction of CR 54 (Eiland Boulevard) in 1994-95 overtook Geiger Road east. A portion of Old Geiger Road ties into the bypass from Kai Lane, a short residential street. Photo taken 05/05/15.
Dean Dairy Road meets CR 54 (Eiland Boulevard) at a signalized intersection north of the Lake Betmar Estates and Oaks Royal manufactured home communities. Dean Dairy Road connects Eiland Boulevard with SR 54. Photo taken 05/05/15.
Curving northward from Geiger Road, CR 54 (Eiland Boulevard) fully enters the Zephyrhills city limits. Installation of traffic lights at Geiger Road got underway in August 2018. The signals commence operation in late November 2018.5 Photo taken 05/05/15.
A half mile north of Geiger Road, Eiland Boulevard resumes an eastern heading ahead of County Road 41 (Ft. King Road). Photo taken 05/05/15.
Pasco County Road 41 branches west from U.S. 301 (Gall Boulevard) nearby, providing an alternate route to the US highway northward to Dade City along Fort King Road. Photo taken 05/05/15.
A $4.9-million resurfacing project along U.S. 301 included expansion of the intersection with Eiland Boulevard and the addition of sidewalks along both sides of CR 54. Work extended 1.928 miles north along U.S. 301, between Geiger and Kossik Roads, and ran from May 31, 2016 to January 20, 2017.3 Photo taken 05/05/15.
U.S. 301 constitutes a four-lane arterial connecting Zephyrhills with Dade City. Separate FDOT projects will expand the highway to six lanes north from CR 54 (Eiland Boulevard) and south along a new one-way pair of roadways to Corey Street. Photo taken 05/05/15.
Eiland Boulevard ends at U.S. 301, with County Road 54 continues east as an unnamed road. Development at the former Hercules Park property on the southeast corner of U.S. 301 and Eiland Boulevard broke ground in 2016. The reaining nine acres of the site was purchased by the city of Zephyrhills from the Pasco County School District in 2018 to be converted to a public park.4 Photo taken 05/05/15.
Construction at U.S. 301 in 2016 added a right turn lane along CR 54 for the newly buillt Wawa and added dual turn lanes from CR 54 west to U.S. 301. CR 54 extends another 6.95 miles to U.S. 98. Photo taken 05/31/15.
Continuing east from U.S. 301 (Gall Boulevard), County Road 54 intersects 12th Street south and Wire Road north by Zephyrhills High School. Photo taken 05/31/15.
A second trailblazer for U.S. 98 stands along County Road 54 east at Woodruff Street and the Zephyr Park neighborhood. Photo taken 05/31/15.
County Road 54 east at 20th Street, a north-south residential street. Photo taken 05/31/15.
Approaching the at-grade crossing with the CSX Railroad, County Road 54 intersects County Road 54 Alternate (Forbes Road). Photo taken 05/31/15.
County Road 54 Alternate navigates along a stair stepped alignment 2.94 miles northeast to Lumberton and County Road 35A (Perry Road). Photo taken 05/31/15.
Reassurance marker for CR 54 east posted after CR 54A (Forbes Road) and the CSX Railroad. The majority of the remaining distance to U.S. 98 is rural. Photo taken 05/31/15.
Progressing a half mile from CR 54A, CR 54 crosses paths with CR 535 (Old Lakeland Highway) at the last traffic light eastbound. Photo taken 05/31/15.
County Road 535 forms part the East Zephyrhills Bypass along a rural course north on Old Lakeland Highway to Richland and CR 35 Alternate and south on Chancey Road to Zephyrhills Municipal Airport (ZPH) and U.S. 301. Photo taken 05/31/15.
2 photos
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Advancing east from CR 535, CR 54 shifts northward by the Forest Lake Estates mobile home park community. Photos taken 05/31/15.
County Road 54 crosses another CSX Railroad line ahead of Lumberton Road north. The ensuing stretch traverses wetland areas of Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area. Photo taken 05/31/15.
County Road 35 Alternate arcs east from Old Lakeland Highway (CR 535) at Richland to connect with CR 54 at Branchborough. Photo taken 05/31/15.
Berry Road (CR 35A) angles northwest back toward CR 54A (Merrick Road) and Lumberton from CR 54. CR 35A is a defacto branch of SR 35, one of the hidden routes for U.S. 98 southeast from U.S. 301 and Dade City. Photo taken 05/31/15.
The last confirming marker for County Road 54 east stands beyond the wye intersection with County Road 35A (Berry Road). Photo taken 09/11/17.
The final segment of CR 54 bee lines due east to U.S. 98. Photo taken 09/11/17.
CR 54 straddles the Polk County line from the Hillsborough River east to U.S. 98. Photo taken 09/11/17.
U.S. 98 converges with the end of County Road 54, 8.1 miles southeast from its split with U.S. 301 outside Dade City. Photo taken 09/11/17.
Continuing southeast from CR 54, U.S. 98 meets the south end of SR 471 in 1.4 miles and reaches Downtown Lakeland in 17.4 miles. Photo taken 09/11/17.

Sources:

  1. "County installs new traffic light in Zephyrhills." Tampa Bay Times, August 14, 2018.
  2. "Abandoned golf course near Zephyrhills targeted for homes." Tampa Bay Times, January 18, 2017.
  3. Details for Contract: E7K09 SR 39 (US 301) RESURFACING, FROM GEIGER ROAD TO KOSSIK ROAD 43376015201. ActiveDetails - State Construction Office (FDOT web site).
  4. "Zephyrhills to take over part of old Hercules Park." Tampa Bay Times, June 26, 2018.
  5. "New traffic signals aim to improve safety." The Laker / Lutz News (FL), August 22, 2018.


Photo Credits:

05/05/15, 05/31/15, 09/11/17 by AARoads

Connect with:
U.S. 98
U.S. 301
Florida 54
County Road 41 & 541
County Road 579

Page Updated 08-17-2018.