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Howard Frankland Bridge Expansion Could Ease Commuter Woes

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This is the intersection being eyed for widening

Driving may soon become less of a headache on the Howard Frankland Bridge spanning Tampa Bay. 

Now, the number of lanes drops from four to two coming northbound on Interstate 275 off the bridge, causing backups that can stretch to the opposite end of the 3-mile span.

Florida Department of Transportation Special Project Administrator, Marshall Hampton, said they are working on an expansion project to relieve the congestion.

The project is part of the Tampa Bay Next program. It includes adding a third lane for drivers who are headed towards downtown Tampa and an additional lane on the exit for State Road 60 and Tampa International Airport.

Hampton said they will be able to minimize the impact to the existing public because construction will take place outside of the current bridge boundaries. That could mean filling in part of the bay.

A pedestrian and bike trail is also included in the project. The public can expect the new lanes to be open in 2020.

“This is the first step of many where we’re trying to get additional capacity and increase safety on the interstate,” said Hampton.   

Jeslyn Santiago is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School digital news intern for fall 2018.
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