TAMPA, Fla.—The Tampa Port Authority (TPA) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) are pleased to report the success of the commemorative “Run the Connector” 5K run December 28, following the ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the approaching opening of the I-4/Selmon Expressway Connector project. 1,000 runners participated in the race, and several local charities will benefit from proceeds raised.
The 5K run took place on a portion of the new, elevated roadway, allowing participants the one-time opportunity to see Tampa from a unique perspective, running from the site of the ribbon cutting ceremony site to Interstate 4 and back. Along the mostly-elevated route on some of the new bridges, runners could see McKay Bay, Palmetto Beach, the roadway’s state-of-the-art tolling gantry, and downtown Tampa.
Several state elected officials and key project stakeholders participated in the opening remarks and ribbon cutting ceremony, led by Ananth Prasad, secretary of FDOT: Congresswoman Kathy Castor, state Sen. Jeff Brandes; Rep. Mark Danish; Rep. Dana Young, former state Sen. Jim Sebesta; and FDOT District 7 Sec. Paul Steinman; Joe Waggoner, Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority; and Paul Anderson, president and CEO, Tampa Port Authority. Truck traffic from the Port of Tampa and city streets within the port’s vicinity will be positively impacted by the connector project when it opens.
“The 5K run went very smoothly, and the weather was perfect for a thousand lucky runners who got to be a part of local history. The Selmon Expressway/I-4 Connector project is huge for our area and for the port, as thousands of trucks will be able to bypass city streets and commerce will flow more efficiently and safely when this project is operational,” Paul Anderson, port president and CEO, said.
“At the Florida Department of Transportation, we are committed to ensuring Florida has a world-class transportation system to strengthen our economy, create jobs and improve quality of life. The I-4/Selmon Expressway Connector Project offers significant benefits for the citizens and businesses of Tampa Bay and will become the difference maker for the region,” stated FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad. “We’re excited so many were able to share in the events Saturday.”
About the I-4/Selmon Expressway Connector
The I-4/Selmon Expressway Connector project is a series of new north-south toll ramps to and from Interstate 4, the Selmon Expressway and 20th Street. They will connect Interstate 4 with the Selmon Expressway west of 31st Street in Tampa and provide truck ramps connecting the Port of Tampa area with I-4. The completion of this project will provide a vital link between these two major east-west corridors and significantly improve the movement of people and goods. For more information visit http://tbinterstates.com/projects/projectinfo.asp?projectid=175.
About the Port of Tampa
The Port of Tampa is the largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and generating almost $15 billion in annual economic impact. In addition to being a top 10 U.S. cruise port, the port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major shipbuilding and repair center. The Port of Tampa was recently voted “Simply the Best” for world-class customer service in a Logistics Management Magazine reader poll. For more information, visit www.tampaport.com