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Transportation

TBX Is Rebranded As Tampa Bay Next; Toll Lanes Remain

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The controversial plan to add express toll lanes to Tampa-area Interstate highways is getting a redo. TBX is gone - in its place is Tampa Bay Next.

It still includes express lanes on a rebuilt Howard Frankland Bridge, but adding toll lanes to Interstate 275 is now up in the air.

State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kris Carson says this is an opportunity to hear what area residents have to say.

"The community essentially asked us not to work in silos, so we're trying to bring all the partners to the table, including the transit agencies, the MPO's (Metropolitan Planning Organizations), the cities and counties, and really just have a new approach to transportation, because we know transit is not the only answer, express lanes are not the only answer -- there's got to be a multitude of options."

Carson said, "We're taking really a two-year reset, stepping back for a minute, looking at what can be done, different options, bringing all the partners to the table."

Some local residents -- particularly in the urban core of Tampa -- said adding toll lanes to I-275 would destroy the character of older neighborhoods that are making a comeback.

The first public meeting on the new plan will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC, on  South Howard Avenue in Tampa.

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