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 [email protected]

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. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Blogs

    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102