OK, so that's a bit premature to say that we REQUIRE a canoe. If the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) don't veto an insane idea of an underpass in Pasco County though, it's not that crazy of an idea.
As our BOCC insists that we need to bulldoze through the Serenova Preserve in order to ease hurricane evacuations, they are refusing to veto an idea to build an underpass (you read that right, UNDERpass) at the intersection of 54 and 41. The cost of this project? Over half a billion dollars!
If you're scratching your head right now wondering how this is even a possibility, you aren't alone. One quick Google search of underpasses during rain will show you story after story of underpasses flooding in just heavy rains. Search for underpasses in hurricanes and it's a horrifying picture.
Just a few miles away, the BOCC is dealing with how to address the massive sinkhole in Lake Padgett that opened up just last year. A story out of Wisconsin just last year warned us that underpasses flooding can cause sinkholes which, in their case, caused mudslides. While I don't predict we'll see any mudslides in the vicinity, sinkholes are a factor we can't ignore. Sinkholes near underpasses are far too common of a problem.
I don't know about you, but I don't think the idea of having a critical intersection like the one at 54 and 41 be unusable for an unknown period of time due to flooding or a sinkhole isn't a great option. I don't care if the price tag is 1 dollar or the astounding half a billion dollars it is expected to cost, it is not the right option for Pasco County.
In November, when you are choosing your next representatives, just think about how you feel about evacuating in a canoe and choose wisely. Or else this just might be us for the next hurricane... or just the next Florida summer downpour.