State Road 56

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State Road 56 is a six-lane arterial connecting Interstate 75 with SR 54 west and Meadow Pointe Boulevard across southern areas of Wesley Chapel in Pasco County. A heavily traveled commuter route, completion of SR 56 was a catalyst for rampant commercial development, including the Tampa Premium Outlets, and expansion of suburban development eastward along areas north of the Hillsborough County line. A $58 million project started in February 2017 extended the state road six miles east to U.S. 301. It opened to traffic on the morning of July 10, 2019. A number of development projects, including the 3,500-acre Two Rivers Ranch, were planned for the new roadway to the southwest of Zephyrhills.1

Florida State Road 56 Guides

Additionally, a $37.4 million project started in January 2019 rebuilds the diamond interchange with Interstate 75 into a diverging diamond (DDI). This is expected to alleviate some of the traffic congestion plaguing the current exchange.2

Proposed DDI for I-75 and SR 56

The corridor for SR 56 was incorporated in the 1982 Pasco County Comprehensive Plan.3 Initially considered by FDOT as the new alignment of SR 54 (with the old one referenced as SR 54A), the study for a second east-west roadway focused on undeveloped areas of southern Pasco County, between I-75 at Cypress Creek and U.S. 301 near Zephyrhills South. It included four-lane expansion of a 0.76-mile section of U.S. 301 leading northeast to CR 535 (Chancey Road), the Zephyrhills East Bypass. The new alignment evaluated comprised a six-lane, divided highway with a 50-foot grassed median within a 250 foot wide right-of-way.3

SR 56 was constructed from June 14, 1999 to June 2002 at a cost of $31.2 million. The three-mile project built a four highway from SR 54 east to a new diamond interchange along Interstate 75, and a six-lane highway from the freeway to CR 581 (Bruce B. Downs Boulevard).4

Meadow Pointe Boulevard
Meadow Pointe Boulevard takes a winding course 2.6 miles south from SR 54 to connect with SR 56 west beyond the Meadow Pointe development. Photo taken 12/04/17.
SR 56 heads west through Wesley Chapel from Meadow Point Boulevard south. Meadow Point Boulevard extends another 1.9 miles south to a dead end at the Hillsborough County line. Photo taken 12/04/17.
Meadow Point Boulevard heads north from SR 56 through northern areas of the Meadow Pointe community 2.6 miles to SR 54. Photo taken 05/31/15.
Florida State Road 56 scenes
An erroneous U.S. 56 shield directs motorists to an exit from The Shops at Wiregrass retail center to SR 581 for SR 56. The two state roads intersect nearby. Photo taken 07/10/19.

Sources:
  1. "Planned highway work to transform southeast Pasco." Tampa Bay Times (FL), November 29, 2013.
  2. "New diverging diamond interchange at I-75, State Road 56 intersection to ease traffic." WFTS (Tampa, FL), March 14, 2018.
  3. State Road 54 Project Development & Environment (PD&E) Study FDOT District 7 - archived studies.
  4. Interstate 75 at State Road 56 (new interchange & new road construction) - 258734. http://mytbi.com:80/content/ users/projectinfo.asp?projectID=60&RoadID=4 Tampa Bay Interstates (FDOT District 7 project web site).


Photo Credits:

05/31/15, 12/04/17, 07/10/19 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 75
U.S. 301
State Road 54
State Road 581 / County Road 581 - Bruce B. Downs Boulevard

Page Updated 07-10-2019.