EMERGENCY INFORMATION FDOT Emergency Travel Alert: For information on the current situation, please visit the following page - Alerts.

Project Details
Work Type: Widening
Phase: PD&E
Limits: from North of West Socrum Loop Road to South of CR 54
Length: 8.7 miles
Start of Current Phase: Early 2021
Est. Completion of Current Phase: Late 2022

The PD&E Study received approval from the Office of Environmental Management on March 23, 2023 and the final notifications are available below under Project Documents.  

Project Description
This PD&E study will evaluate capacity and safety improvements on US 98 from north of West Socrum Loop Road to south of CR 54 in Polk County. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District One is conducting this PD&E study in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other federal and state laws and regulations. The PD&E study corridor is approximately 8.7 miles in length and is located in northwest Polk County. A portion of the roadway is located within the Lakeland Urbanized area with the remaining portion located in unincorporated Polk County. US 98 is a north/south urban principal arterial that provides a critical regional connection between Polk and Pasco Counties. It is not a Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) roadway but is a designated hurricane evacuation route. This roadway is included in the Polk Transportation Planning Organization’s (TPO's) Regional Freight Network and is the most direct freight route between US 301 in Dade City and I-4 in Lakeland. North of West Socrum Loop Road, the existing roadway is a two-lane undivided roadway with 12-foot travel lanes, five-foot paved shoulders, and an open drainage system in 160 feet of right-of-way. Currently, there are no designated bike lanes or sidewalks within the study corridor and the posted speed limit is 60 miles per hour. The adjacent land uses are primarily low density rural residential development, conservation/public lands, recreational, agricultural and open space.

Need for the Project
The widening (i.e., four-laning) of US 98 from north of West Socrum Loop Road to SR 471 is currently included in the Polk TPO’s 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) – Momentum 2045 as a Tier IV Project (i.e., a partially funded project through 2045). The portion of US 98 from north of West Socrum Loop Road to Rockridge Road is also identified in the 2045 LRTP as a Bicycle and Pedestrian Needs Priority Corridor. The purpose of the project is to provide increased roadway capacity to accommodate the projected future growth in passenger vehicle and freight traffic, enhance regional transportation network connectivity, and improve emergency evacuation. Another primary purpose of the project is to increase the safety of all roadway users. The high volume of truck traffic in the corridor, coupled with the high vehicle speeds, the lack of physical separation between the opposing lanes of traffic, and the lack of bicycle/pedestrian facilities has resulted in a large number of fatal and injury crashes occurring within the corridor.

Project Funding
The project is included in the adopted Polk TPO’s FY 2020/21 – FY 2024/2025 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), as well as the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The PD&E study phase was funded in fiscal year 2021 for $1,600,000 and the preliminary design phase was funded in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 for a total of $4,500,000. The right-of-way phase is funded in fiscal year 2022 for $15,000,000. The project is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for final design and construction in the amount of $121,000,000.  This final design and construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2023.

Public Involvement

FDOT held a public hearing for this project online (through GoTo webinar) and in-person at New Life Assembly of God in Lakeland on March 31, 2022. Hearing materials were available online for review and comment from March 24, 2022. An online copy of the project technical documents was available online beginning March 10, 2022 and were available at Larry R. Jackson Branch Library, 1700 N Florida Ave, Lakeland, FL 33805 and FDOT District One Headquarters, 801 N. Broadway Ave., Bartow, FL 33830 from March 10 to April 14, 2022. 

Comments for the hearing were accepted in multiple ways through April 14, 2022. To view what was presented at the hearing, see the Project Documents section below.

View Factsheet
Contact Information
PD&E Project Manager
David C. Turley, P.E.
For Media Inquiries Only
Project Documents
Project Videos