Lewis, Longman & Walker firm wins battle over Ridge Road extension in Pasco County
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The project will create a hurricane evacuation route through Pasco.

A project meant to ease traffic and create a hurricane evacuation route in Pasco County will move forward after the firm Lewis, Longman & Walker successfully contested a lawsuit challenging the project.

The Sierra Club sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2020 to stop the project, claiming construction would impact the Serenova Tract of the Starkey Wilderness Preserve.

The project in question is an 8.65-mile road extension of Ridge Road from the intersection at Decubellis Road and Moon Lake Road to the U.S. 41 and Connerton Boulevard intersection.

Earlier this year, United States Magistrate Judge Julie S. Sneed ruled in favor of the county and the Army Corps. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell adopted her report.

“I appreciate Judge Sneed and Judge Honeywell’s decision and close study of this case,” said firm shareholder Frederick L. Aschauer, Jr. “Pasco County is committed to protecting the environment and ensuring residents have an additional evacuation route in case of a hurricane evacuation. This decision is good news for all county residents and for those who travel through this area.”

Pasco officials said special care was taken to minimize environmental impacts resulting from the project, including 14 bridges constructed over wetlands and elevating the road to allow natural drainage. The project plan also includes several wildlife crossings for animals to cross under the roadway.

“We are grateful for Lewis, Longman and Walker’s diligent and thorough representation,” Pasco County Attorney Jeffrey Steinsnyder said.

“The County has always viewed the Ridge Road extension as a vital public safety/transportation project. The County has been committed to ensure this critically needed project has minimal environmental impact. We will continue to ensure that we invest wisely and meet the needs of our residents.”

The Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A. legal team included Aschauer, firm shareholders Kathryn B. Rossmell and Robert Angus Williams, and firm lawyer Nicole J. Poot.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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