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Failed Hillsborough referendum adds to a long history of the county’s transportation funding woes

Aerial view of the Gateway Project
Florida Department of Transportation
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The Gateway Project will address traffic headed between Pinellas and Hillsborough counties by creating two new elevated express toll lanes for drivers from U.S.19 to I-275 and from the Bayside Bridge to I-275.

Attempts to pass a sales tax for transportation in Hillsborough County failed in November.

This week on Florida Matters, we explore Hillsborough County’s transportation challenges and some possible solutions.

Attempts to pass a sales tax for transportation in Hillsborough County failed in November. It would have helped pay for a transit system that advocates say is woefully underfunded, and put money into roadway maintenance and improvement projects.

First, we hear from WUSF’s Sky Lebron, who gives us an overview of the transportation challenges facing Hillsborough County — and the wider Tampa Bay region.

Then, host Matthew Peddie talks with Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp about the politics of funding transportation.

Kemp has been pushing for more money for transit and transportation. She says the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit authority faces a bigger funding challenge than similar sized metros in Florida — and the U.S.

And later in the show, Peddie talks with John Lyons, one of the county’s top public works leaders, about how the county figures out which projects are the priority.

Lyons has decades of experience managing public works projects for the county. He’s also on his last week in the job before retirement.

You can listen to the full conversations by clicking on the “Listen” button above. Or you can listen on the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.”

Hi there! I’m Dinorah Prevost and I’m the producer of Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show. That basically means that I plan, record and edit the interviews we feature on the show.
I am the host of WUSF’s weekly public affairs show Florida Matters, where I get to indulge my curiosity in people and explore the endlessly fascinating stories that connect this community.