|$257 million will improve traffic flow and safety at Westshore and Downtown interchanges
|Tampa, FL – The Hillsborough Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) will consider a series of 14 amendments to the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for Fiscal Years 2021/22 – 2025/26 to fund the preliminary phase of the Westshore Interchange Reconstruction Project, operational and safety improvements to the Downtown Interchange, and technology to address traffic congestion along five corridors.
The preliminary phase of the Westshore Interchange Reconstruction Project is the first step toward completing a larger project that will bring the interchange up to modern standards. While the larger project will add lanes, medians, and trail connections to accommodate vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic, including providing space for future transit such as light rail, the preliminary phase focuses on the following smaller improvements:
– An intersection reconfiguration at Cypress and LaSalle Streets
– Turn lane improvements at Kennedy Blvd. and Memorial Highway
– Turn lane improvements at Boy Scout Blvd. and Lois Ave.
– Seawall and trail construction on the Howard Frankland Bridge causeway
– Pavement rehabilitation and one new general purpose lane along Memorial Highway that connects to the Courtney Campbell Causeway and Veterans Expressway
The Westshore Interchange Reconstruction Project is a high priority for the Tampa Bay region. The TPO listed it as a priority for funding in the “It’s TIME Hillsborough” Long Range Transportation Plan and in the shorter-term priority list of the TIP. If approved by the Board, the TPO will add the amendments to its TIP to fund the preliminary phase of the project.
Safety and Operational Improvements to the Downtown Interchange
The TIP amendments also include funding for projects that will significantly improve safety and traffic flow at and around the Downtown Interchange. By reducing lane weaving, speeding, and congestion in vehicles lining up for exits, the Downtown Interchange project will reduce deaths and serious injuries on I-275 near I-4 by nearly half. The project will add traffic calming measures along 14th St. such as new traffic signals, lane narrowing, wider sidewalks, and crosswalks, and it will extend the Tampa Heights Greenway, connecting it to Ybor, Encore, and the Green Spine.
Funding will also support traffic congestion management technology, known as Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) strategies, along Florida and Nebraska Avenues, Kennedy Blvd., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Boy Scout Blvd., and Hillsborough Ave. Improvements will include traffic signal upgrades, Bluetooth sensors, dynamic message signs, closed-circuit television (CCTV), and other technologies, reducing delays, improving travel time, and making work zones safer.
“We are thrilled to be able to move forward on projects that will significantly improve safety and traffic flow at the Westshore and Downtown Interstate Interchanges,“ said TPO Chair, County Commissioner Harry Cohen. “Receiving this funding is great news for our entire region.”
The public can comment on the amendment through Oct. 12 via email to email@example.com; mail to Hillsborough TPO, Attn: Cheryl Wilkening, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 18th Floor, Tampa 33602; voicemail one week in advance of the meeting to 813-272-5940 (press 9); or social media by posting on the TPO Facebook page.
To review the amendment visit www.bit.ly/3COLqCm. For inquiries, contact Johnny Wong, Ph.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813-699-7370.
|About the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)
|The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a list of upcoming transportation projects covering a period of at least five years. The TPO develops the TIP in cooperation with the state of Florida and public transit providers. Every year, the Hillsborough TPO adopts a new TIP based on the latest Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Work program. To see the most recent approved TIP or to learn more, visit planhillsborough.org/transportation-improvement-program-tip/.