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Business Observer Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 7 months ago

State to spend $1.4B to rebuild congested business district interchange

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The construction project aims to ease traffic woes at Tampa’s busy I-275/SR 60 Westshore exit.

TAMPA — The Florida Department of Transportation plans to spend $1.4 billion to rebuild an interstate junction that has vexed Tampa Bay area commuters for years.

On Oct. 24 in Tallahassee, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and FDOT officials announced the funding for the I-275/SR 60 Westshore Area Interchange in Tampa, saying the project will alleviate traffic congestion, improve safety for motorists and promote continued economic growth.

Tampa’s Westshore business district is home to Tampa International Airport, two professional sports facilities and more than 4,000 businesses, according to a press release, making it a tangled nexus of commuter, cargo and tourism traffic.

“As our population continues to increase, we remain committed to improving our transportation infrastructure through strategic innovation,” DeSantis states in the release. “By significantly relieving traffic congestion, this reconstruction project will provide motorists a more effective way to travel through the region. Additionally, it will add capacity for future growth and improve connectivity for Tampa’s residents, businesses and visitors.” 

In a statement, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor praised the state’s commitment to the region.

"This investment in our transportation infrastructure comes at an incredibly pivotal time for Tampa," she states. "I have stressed that one of my top priorities is to alleviate congestion while expanding alternative mobility options and this investment to rework of the interchange will do just that. Thank you to Gov. DeSantis for acknowledging the ever-growing needs of the region by focusing on the arteries needed to keep Tampa Bay moving. I look forward to continuing this collaboration and creating the Tampa that we want to see for generations to come.”

According to the release, the Westshore interchange work will be coordinated with the reconstruction of the Howard Frankland Bridge, which will begin next year.

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