NEW TAMPA — City officials have halved the projected cost of a four-lane eastern end of Cross Creek Boulevard to $10-million from $20-million.
"We went back and did it based on present market conditions," said Jean Dorzback, Tampa's director of transportation planning. "The market conditions have really changed from what we had."
The savings mean the city, with $28-million identified for New Tampa road projects, might be able to simultaneously afford the Cross Creek widening and a $20-million bridge spanning Interstate 75 between West Meadows and Tampa Palms.
Only three months ago, Mayor Pam Iorio had launched discussions on whether money earmarked for the bridge should be diverted to Cross Creek.
Road building costs soared during the housing boom as demand for road work outstripped the resources of the industry. But now, home building has slowed to a crawl as builders wait for wary buyers to snap up an oversupply of homes for sale. So road builders are hurting for work and bidding low. "The bids are actually coming in lower than the estimates," Dorzback said.
With a financial boost from Hillsborough County, Tampa finished widening Cross Creek's western and busiest section early last year. Work on the eastern half is scheduled to begin by 2011.
Bill Coats can be reached at (813) 269-5309 or firstname.lastname@example.org.