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Officials Zoom Tampa Bay Express Toll Lanes Plan Along

Yoselis Ramos
There was a full room plus people outside the room waiting to comment at Tuesday's MPO meeting over TBX.

A plan to expand I-275 and I-4, and build express toll lanes was voted into Hillsborough County's Metropolitan Planning Organization five-year redevelopment plan called TIP. 

The plan, called Tampa Bay Express (TBX), was passed but Les Miller, Chairman of MPO, told the Florida Department of Transportation it had to update the 20-year-old study it is using to justify the plan.
FDOT also has to work with the local neighborhoods like Seminole and Tampa Heights, that would be affected by the expansion to an 18-lane highway. It must also include cycling and transit options. 

Plenty of the residents who spoke against TBX, spoke in favor of light rail and mass transit options though voters rejected that in a referendum in 2010. 

Business owner Mit Patel opposes TBX. 

"They ask for good public infrastructure. Part of good public infrastructure is mass transit- that's what you need if you want to develop- for a smart economic plan? That's what you need," he said.

FDOT has to complete the items Commissioner Les Miller requested by the time the plan comes before the board again in November or May.

Credit Florida Dept. of Transportation
Map of where the new express lanes would be built


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