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More info on U.S. Route 301 in Florida

U.S. Route 301 in Florida: Map

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U.S. Route 301 in Floridamarker runs from the Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area northeast to the Greater Jacksonville Metropolitan Area. The road is a spur of U.S. Route 1 that also shares by the DeSoto Trail until it reaches Florida State Road 48 in Bushnell.

The secret designations for US 301 in Florida are Florida State Road 683 from Sarasotamarker to US 41 in Bradentonmarker, Florida State Road 55 from Bradenton to Palmettomarker, Florida State Road 43 from US 41 in Palmetto, to Hillsborough CR 580, a.k.a.; Harney Road in Thonotosassamarker (where SR 43 becomes part of Harney Road), Florida State Road 41 from HCR 580 to Zephyrhills, Florida State Road 39 from Zephyrhills to Moss Town, Florida State Road 35 from Clinton Heights to Belleview, Florida State Road 533 in Dade City, Florida State Road 700 from Clinton Heights to Moss Town, Florida State Road 500 from Leesburg to Ocala, Florida State Road 25 from Belleview to near Sparr, Florida State Road 200 from Ocala to Callahan, and Florida State Road 15 from Callahan to Folkston, Georgiamarker.



Concurrencies include US 41 between Bradenton and Palmetto, US 98 between Clinton Heights (near Dade City) and Trilacoochee (formerly known as Moss Town), US 27 between Belleview and Ocala, US 441 between Belleview and Sparr, US 27 between Belleview and Ocala, and US Routes 1 and US 23 north of Callahan.

Route description

Sarasota through Hillsborough County

US 301 begins at U.S. Route 41 along Washington Boulevard in Sarasota. The first state highway it intersects with is Florida State Road 780. On the Sarasota-Manatee County line, it also intersects with Florida State Road 610, which takes commuters from University of South Floridamarker's Sarasota/Manatee Campusmarker, and Bradenton Airportmarker to Interstate 75. The next major intersection is Florida State Road 70, and after this, the road curves northwest before it eventually joins US 41(Hidden SR 55) again in southern Bradenton where they briefly overlap each other as they cross the Manatee River.

US 301 makes a sharp right turn onto Florida State Road 43 at a diamond interchange, then crosses Interstate 75 in Florida in Ellenton at Exit 224. Just north of the intersection of Florida State Road 62, the road passes by the Florida Gulf Coast Railroad Museummarker and then intersects Manatee CR 6(Moccasin Wallow Road). After the road crosses the Manatee-Hillsborough Countymarker Line, it passes by the Little Manatee River State Parkmarker, then intersects Florida State Road 674, and shares a brief overlap with Hillsborough CR 672 between Balm Road and Big Bend Road.

North of the intersection with Gibsonton Drive, and over the Alafia River in Riverview, Route 301 makes another turn to the northwest, where it crosses I-75 again near Bradenton at Exit 254. Beyond that, all access to I-75 is available from roads that cross US 301 in one way or another, the nearest of which being the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway. Between I-75 and the Lee Roy Selmon, though US 301 serves as the eastern terminus of Florida State Road 676(Causeway Boulevard), which takes motorists to US BUS 41. The first major intersection north of the Crosstown Expressway though is Florida State Road 60.

At Six Mile Creek, US 301 crosses over the tracks of CSX's "A-line", one of the railroad company's main lines through Florida (also used by Amtrak's Silver Star passenger trains), and Hillsborough CR 574, which is only accessible from local connecting roads. It then crosses the first bridge over the Tampa Bypass Canalmarker before intersecting Florida State Road 574 in East Lake-Orient Parkmarker. At the Florida State Fairgroundsmarker, US 301 has an parclo interchange with Interstate 4 and U.S. Route 92. A reconstruction project took place in the early-2000's with provisions for a future ramp from westbound US 92, that are currently being obstructed by the Tampa Bypass Canal and land owned by the Vandenberg Airportmarker. Near the northern end of Vandenberg Airport, US 301 crosses over a flood channel that runs between the Hillsborough River and Tampa Bypass Canal on the southern border of Temple Terracemarker.

Between Temple Terrace and Thonotosassa, the hidden Florida State Road 43 leaves US 301 and joins Hillsborough County Road 580 at Harney Road, and the new hidden road becomes Florida State Road 41. Former sections of Harney Road are on hills on the northwest and northeast corners, both of which were designed to go around a former railroad bridge for a line that no longer exists. After crossing under I-75 with no access for the last time, and the Tampa Bypass Canal again shortly afterwards, US 301 encounters the eastern terminus of Florida State Road 582 and its hidden County extension, Hillsborough County Road 582.

Hillsborough County Road 43 ends at US 301 in Thonotosassa along Harney Road, and Route 301 loses more of its easterly trajection. Here, it serves as the northern terminus of Mango Road, and later Stacy Road, Sargeant Wilderness Memorial Park, and extension of Hillsborough River State Parkmarker. After passing by a field used for the Tampa Machinery Auctions, Route 301 officially runs along the eastern end of Hillsborough River State Park, which it will eventually enter. The same former railroad line that was encountered near Harney Road is visible along the east side of Route 301 throughout the park and beyond. The last moderate intersection US 301 encounters before finally entering the park is the northern terminus of McIntosh Road. One residential area can be found on a minor side road off to the left, but the rest of the road is surrounded by parkland. US 301 leaves the park almost as instantly as it crosses the Pasco County linemarker

Pasco County

After US 301 enters Pasco County, Floridamarker, a slight curve to the right is a clear indication that 301 is entering Zephyrhills, Floridamarker. Here, the road is known as Fort King Highway and Gall Boulevard depending on the location. At some point in the future US 301 will be the eastern terminus of Florida State Road 56. For the time being, the first major intersection is with Chancey Road which eventaully becomes Pasco County Road 535. Florida State Road 39 intersects with US 301 from the southeast. However, instead of terminating at Route 301, it becomes a hidden route north of the intersection and both roads head straight north again. This trajectory is short lived though when some local traffic is rerouted along 7th Street, and both roads intersect South Avenue before moving slightly northwest.

Downtown Zephyrhills is where US 301 serves as what would appear to be the eastern terminus of Florida State Road 54, even though Fifth Avenue continues east of SR 54. Originally SR 54 extended east of US 301 along Fifth Avenue and then to 12th Street before turning back east again at Eiland Bouleavrd. In more recent times however, some maps have indictated that it serves as a third hidden route along US 301. Southbound motorists on US 301 have been encouraged to access SR 54 through 6th Street in recent years. After North Avenue, US 301 curves to the northeast as Florida State Road 41 leaves Route 301 to the northwest as Pasco County Road 41, along Fort King Road. The rest of 301 is known as Gall Boulevard until it moves deep into Dade City. After the curve to the northeast ends the road intersects Pasco County Road 54, a county bypass and extension of SR 54 that leads to US 98 on the Pasco-Polk County border. From there, US 301 runs along a series of steep hills as a four-lane divided highway with median openings that lack left-turn lanes until it reaches US 98(SR 700) and the US 98-301 overlap begins. Immediately after this, the road intersects Alternate Pasco County Road 52 in Clinton Heights (near Dade Citymarker). While some of the median openings are still missing left-turn lanes, and is briefly replaced by a center left-turn lane, the road becomes much more level at this point.

In February 2007, US 98-301 was realigned to the former truck route, which is two lanes wide as of this writing. Efforts to widen the road to four lanes has met stiff opposition from both the public and the city. The former truck route and old US 98-301, which is now Florida State Road 39 as well as hidden state routes hidden SRs 35-700, split from each other at an at-grade interchange. A local east-west street takes motorists to southbound Alternate Pasco County Road 35. At the intersection of ALT PCR 35 itself, the road moves from northeast back to northwest again, and runs along the CSX S-Line, where it encounters the eastern terminus of Florida State Road 52 and the Dade City Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Depotmarker.

Owensboro Junction Trailhead
US 98 & 301 reunite with the former route, near a former citrus plant. The first intersection after this is eastern Pasco County Road 578 and the next one is at the northern border of the former citrus plant that leads to the Pioneer Florida Museum. As with the segment between Zephyrhills and Dade City, the road is a hilly four-lane divided highway with median openings that lack left-turn lanes, but the hills aren't as steep, and the road isn't as straight. After passing by the drive-in movie theater, US 98-301 intersection with Payne Road which was part of the former Pasco County Road 35B, There are some trailer parks, a golf course, and small motels in this segment. A sure sign the segment is about to end, is when it passed by the Owensboro Junction Trailhead, of the Withlacoochee State Trailmarker. This was once a former junction between the Atlantic Coast Line and Seaboard Air Line Railroads, until both were merged into the Seaboard Coast Line and the segments that crossed Routes 98 & 301 were abandoned. US 98 leaves US 301 in Trilacoochee, veering to the northwest and taking hidden State Roads 39 and 700 with it. State Road 35 becomes the sole hidden state route as the road narrows down to two lanes before approaching Florida State Road 575 and Pasco CR 575 in Lacoocheemarker. It remains a two-lane road even after it crosses the border with Hernando County, Floridamarker and over the Withlacoochee River.

Hernando to Marion Counties

In Hernando County, US 301 continues its two-lane rural surroundings until it approaches Florida State Road 50 in Ridge Manormarker, which while hardly urban, contains some local businesses, and a large gas station, convenience store and car wash on the northeast corner. North of the Whispering Oaks Country Club, a gated commuity near SR 50, Route 301 passes by random intersections of dirt roads, many of which are part of local deed-restricted communities.

US 301 enters Sumter Countymarker by crossing over the Little Withlacoochee River, where it shortly enters the unincorporated community of Croom-a-Coochie, runs parallel to the CSX's S-Line, and intersects with Sumter County Road 675. In St. Catherine, 301 intersects with Sumter CR 673, which leads to local campgrounds before reaching I-75, and almost instantly Sumter CR 478, which leads to Webstermarker and Center Hillmarker.

In Bushnellmarker, US 301 becomes Main Street. The first main intersection there is Sumter County Road 476(Seminole Avenue), a road that runs from northwestern Hernando County to north of Webster. Sumter CR 48 shares a hidden concurrency with US 301, that's not so hidden when it turns onto Sumter CR 476. Florida State Road 48 runs north towards West Belt Avenue, taking the DeSoto Trail with it, while US 301 turns east on East Noble Avenue, and crosses CSX's S-Line, where it once shared a brief concurrency with Sumter CR 48 until that designation turned south onto Florida Avenue on its way to Lake County. From there, Route 301 shares an even shorter concurrency with Sumter County Road 476, until it curves back north.

Motorists know they're in Sumterville when the road passes by the ground of Lake-Sumter Community College's Sumter Campus. Shortly after this, US 301 intersects Sumter County Road 470, and both roads share a concurrency. The north end of Florida State Road 471 is encountered after this, and then the concurrency with Sumter County Road 470 breaks away to head east towards Okahumpkamarker. In Colemanmarker US 301 intersects with an abandoned railroad right-of-way that carried the SAL/Amtrak Silver Meteor until 1988. At this point, the road is briefly named South Commercial Street until it intersects with Warm Springs Avenue(Sumter County Road 514) and then heads east along Warm Springs Avenue. The road curves north again at the intersection of Sumter County Road 468.

Before US 301 enters Wildwoodmarker, signs give advanced warnings of the road's approach to the next to last interchange for Florida's Turnpikemarker. Prior to this interchange, US 301 becomes a four-lane highway, which is sometimes divided. The next major intersecition is Florida State Road 44, and both lead to I-75. The abundance of traveler services like fast food restaurants, gas stations and motels, west of here has made some people compare Wildwood to Breezewood, Pennsylvaniamarker. Wildwood has also been referred to as "The Crossroads of Florida" due to this as well as the former Wildwood Amtrak Stationmarker, which now serves as a CSX maitenance yard. North of Wildwood, US 301 narrows back down to a two-lane highway with a right-of-ways for future expansion on either sides, although after entering Marion Countymarker, it briefly turns into a divided highway at Marion County Road 42 in Dallas, only to return to the two-lane road it was before. North of Summerfieldmarker, the road takes a slight curve to the northwest and then becomes a divided four-lane highway before curving back north again. The road remains no less than four lanes wide throughout the rest of Marion County, although just as in Pasco County, the median is missing left-turn lanes at many of the intersections.

Within Belleviewmarker, the road curves more to the west and after the intersection with US 27-441 (SR 25-500) is co-signed with these routes for a few blocks. However Florida State Road 35 turns right at the current eastern terminus of Marion CR 484, and US 27-301-441's new secret route becomes SR 25-500. After that the road curves more to the north again. Near the right of way for the formerly proposed Cross Florida Barge Canal, the median for the road widens, but narrows back down to normal again. Before it does, however, it intersects Marion CR 328, where a police station exists between the median. Supports for a bridge that was intended to run over the canal exist behind the police station. To the west of this intersection is the Santos Trailhead of the Cross Florida Greenway. Seven blocks later, the road enters the southeastern Ocala Delimited Area, but does not yet enter the Ocala City Limitsmarker.

Ocala and points North

Before US 27-301-441 enters Ocalamarker it veers off to the left at an intersection with Marion County Road Old 441 (Southeast Lake Weir Avenue), a former segment of US 441 that eventually leads to Ocala Union Stationmarker. The first major intersection after this is 31st Street. Then it crosses under a railroad bridge before reaching the City Limits and the intersections with the northern terminus of Marion CR 475 and crossing Florida State Road 464 (17th Street). US 27-301-441 intersects with Florida State Road 200 and SR 200 becomes the new hidden state road until US 301 reaches US 1-23. But it doesn't reach the heart of Ocala until the intersection with Florida State Road 40 (West Silver Springs Boulevard). After this, the road climbs an embankment for a railroad bridge west of Ocala Union Station. Five blocks later, US 27 leaves the US 301-441 overlap and takes SR 500 with it as they head northwest towards Willistonmarker, Perrymarker, Tallahasseemarker, and out of state towards Indianamarker. Before US 301-441 leaves Ocala, it has an intersection with Marion County Road 200A (Northwest 20th Street), which runs east and then north. This road was the former State Road 200A and decommissioned US Route 301 Alternate.

Another county alternate of a state highway that the road intersects with is Marion CR 25A (Northwest Gainesville Road), which runs northwest through towns such as Zubermarker, Lowellmarker, and Reddickmarker. East of Zuber, the road intersects Florida State Road 326, which originally had a short concurrency, but now directly crosses US 301-441. South of the intersection with Marion CR 329 is an interchange with U.S. Route 441 near Sparrmarker, where the US 301-441 concurrency ends. US 441 moves northwest through Gainesvillemarker, Lake City, Floridamarker and far north into Lake City, Tennesseemarker, while US 301 moves northeast.

In Citramarker, US 301 finally intersects with the north end of Marion CR 200A (Northeast Jacksonville Road), but another short former segment (Northeast 19th Terrace) appears on the opposite side before the road passes by the historic Melton-Shands Housemarker and intersects with Marion CR 318. After Route 301 crosses the Alachua County Line it runs along a four-lane causeway through marshland before entering Island Grove, where the road intersects with another former section (Southeast 201st Terrace) and Alachua CR 325, which leads to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Parkmarker. From there, the road makes a slight curve to the right to cross over the railroad line. Both the tracks and the road run along the east coast of Lochloosa Lake in Lochloosa. The interchange with Florida State Road 20 in Hawthorne, Floridamarker, also includes the side road Southeast 221st Street/Johnson Street, as well as the previously mentioned railroad line in between that side road and US 301. On the other hand, the intersections with Alachua CR 1474 in Campville and Florida State Road 26 in Orange Heights have no interchanges whatsoever, and the railroad line breaks away from the road moving straight north. However, US 301 heads back to the northwest in Shenks, where it would otherwise take drivers straight into Lake Altho and those tracks can be found again, beneath the interchange with Florida State Road 24 in Waldomarker.

Speed trap alley

Since US 301 is a popular short cut between Northeastern Florida and the Gulf Coast region, a number of towns along the road have been notorious speed traps. The speed limit drops from 65 mph to 30 mph in a matter of a few hundred feet. Many have accused the police in Waldomarker, Starkemarker, Lawteymarker, and others of giving tickets simply to raise money. The American Automobile Association has strongly advised motorists to avoid this stretch of the road.

Somewhere north of Waldo, US 301 gains the name Walnut Street, probably due to the fact that it crosses the Bradford County Linemarker. The first moderate intersection the road encounters is the southern terminus of Bradford County Road 221, which northbound traffic can access from a connecting ramp. East of Hampton Lake, it intersect Florida State Road 18 between Hamptonmarker and Hampton Beach. After it crosses a set of railroad tracks in Starke, US 301 moves onto Temple Avenue. From there, the road intersects Florida State Road 100, and a block later the unmarked Florida State Road 230, where it passes the Old Bradford County Courthousemarker, and serves as part of the boundary for the Call Street Historic Districtmarker. The next major intersection in Starke is Florida State Road 16.
Old Bradford County Courthouse along US 301 in Starke
A Starke Bypass has been proposed for construction by the Florida Department of Transportation for the year 2010. The interchanges that already exist with US 441 near Sparrmarker, FL 20 in Hawthornemarker, and FL 24 in Waldo could also be used if the state were to upgrade the road as a freeway. The next town over is Lawtey, which contains intersections with the eastern terminus of Bradford County Road 225 and then crosses Bradford County Road 125.

Metropolitan Jacksonville to Georgia

US 301 cuts through the northwest corner of Clay County, Floridamarker with only one moderate intersection; County Road 218. After this, the road enters Duval County, Floridamarker. As the road enters Maxville, it shares a brief concurrency with Florida State Road 228. After whizzing through Fiftone the road encounters a large railroad yard on the east side before the partial-cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 10 in Florida.

In Baldwinmarker US 301 crosses railroad tracks that serve the suspended Amtrak Sunset Limited before making a right turn at a concurrency with US 90 for several blocks. Immediately after another railroad crossing, both US 90 and 301 narrow down to two lanes at the east end of this concurrnecy. US 301 remains a two-lane rural highway until it reaches Callahanmarker where it crosses over a railroad bridge and gets the name West First Avenue. US 301 becomes East First Avenue at Booth Street before the intersection with US 1/23. Here, SR A1A/200 continue running along East First Avenue toward Fernandina Beachmarker, while US 301 becomes part of a three route overlap with US 1-23 between Callahan, and Folkston, Georgiamarker.

References

External links




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