Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bridge set to ease traffic flow Friday

NEW TAMPA — The quagmire on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard is scheduled to loosen up significantly Friday when the state's flyover carries its first traffic onto Interstate 75.

The new bridge is to open between midnight and 5 a.m. Friday, said John McShaffrey, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Transportation.

But he added one if. Before the flyover opens, the weather must cooperate enough for PCL Civil Constructors Inc. to apply a final layer of asphalt at the top of the bridge's approach ramp to southbound I-75.

"We just don't have our crystal ball out," McShaffrey said Monday.

Overall, the $42-million project still won't be complete. Until the end of summer, the flyover will carry only one lane of traffic because new merge ramps onto I-75 aren't ready for two, he said.

"It's going to be that way at least for a couple of months," McShaffrey said.

Also, northbound drivers on Bruce B. Downs will continue to enter southbound I-75 on their old ramp. A new ramp and a retooled intersection eventually will carry them under the flyover before they veer right to merge onto the interstate.

Those changes are expected by the end of the year, McShaffrey said. PCL must finish the project by next spring, but gets a $1-million bonus if it's done by year's end, he said. Dry weather and minimal changes have helped.

"They're on track to do that," McShaffrey said.

Friday's bridge opening will force thousands of veteran commuters to jettison old habits. Drivers heading to southbound I-75 from southbound Bruce B. Downs will have to exit to the right to climb the flyover, instead of to the left at a traffic light.

Those who miss the change and look for their old turn lane will find it blocked by barrels on Friday and a barrier wall later, McShaffrey said.

They'll have to drive farther south and make a U-turn to reach Bruce B. Downs.

"They'll probably only have that problem one time," McShaffrey said.

Times staff writer Dong-Phuong Nguyen contributed to this article. Bill Coats can be reached at (813) 269-5309 or coats@sptimes.com.

Bridge set to ease traffic flow Friday 07/14/08 [Last modified: Monday, July 14, 2008 10:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. After emergency repairs, 40th Avenue Bridge reopens Wednesday

    Roads

    ST. PETERSBURG – The 40th Avenue NE bridge, closed several days for emergency repairs, is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday at 10 a.m., according to city officials.

    The 40th Avenue NE Bridge will be open for two-way traffic starting on Wed., Aug. 23, 2017. [LARA CERRI | Times]
  2. Groundbreaking today for complex on old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — A groundbreaking is slated for 10 a.m. today for a 400-unit apartment complex planned on the site of the former Tampa Tribune building in downtown Tampa.

    Renderings for a high-end apartment complex that will be built on the Tampa Tribune site in downtown Tampa. 
[Courtesy of Related Group]
  3. Walmart announces delivery partnership with Google

    Retail

    Walmart announced a new delivery partnership with Google to make online shopping easier for customers.

    People walk in and out of a Walmart store in Dallas. Walmart announced a new delivery partnership with Google.  [Associated Press]
  4. Rays morning after: Secret to Alex Colome's success is staying cool, calm, collected

    Blogs

    The ninth inning couldn't have started much worse for Rays closer Alex Colome on Tuesday, who took over with a 6-4 lead and quickly allowed a single and a double to bring the tying run to the plate.

  5. Review: David Abrams' 'Brave Deeds' is a stirring, sardonic war story

    Books

    With sabre-rattling by politicians in the air, it's a good time to be reminded what war is like for those who actually go fight it.