Hillsborough County's transportation planning board on Tuesday approved a plan that would widen the clogged approaches to Tampa coming off the Howard Frankland Bridge. It could start as early as next year.
The long-range plan was approved by the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization. It would add new lanes to relieve the bottleneck on the bridge when it narrows from four lanes to two as Interstate 275 rolls into Tampa from St. Petersburg. That could happen as early as next year. And new turn lanes would be built entering and exiting from Kennedy Boulevard and State Road 60. Also, an additional lane would be built from the feeder road leading onto I-275 from Tampa International Airport.
It's not a done deal - the plan still has to get the approval of the state Department of Transportation. It also calls for four express lanes to be added to a new span planned for the Howard Frankland Bridge. Transportation officials are calling for those new lanes to be tolled.