Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Crosstown Expressway widening in downtown Tampa expected this summer

TAMPA — Drivers can expect more delays this summer as a two-year project to add more lanes to the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway gets under way.

The $110 million project, set to start in August, will add a third lane in each direction to the older section of the expressway between Florida Avenue and 21st Street in downtown Tampa.

Motorists already weary of delays because of construction from the Interstate 4 connector project, which continues until 2013, will have one more reason to gripe. The widening won't shut down the expressway, but it will trigger intermittent lane closures in each direction as drivers approach downtown.

The alternative, though, is a potentially bigger headache down the road.

Sue Chrzan, spokeswoman for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority, said the Department of Transportation already was planning to replace the crumbling concrete surface on the expressway's viaduct downtown.

Seizing on an opportunity, the authority proposed combining that project with a widening, noting that the number of yearly toll transactions is estimated to increase from 31 million last year to 46 million in 2020, partly because the new connector between the expressway and I-4 will funnel more drivers into downtown.

"We're already inconveniencing (motorists), and if you know the road is going to be failing in 10 years and you didn't do anything about it when you had the chance, then you're creating a greater inconvenience to motorists," Chrzan said.

Both projects — the I-4 connector and downtown widening — would wrap up at about the same time in 2013, she said.

The widening project involves adding piers to hold up the extra lanes, DOT spokeswoman Kris Carson said.

The old concrete deck panels would be torn out and replaced with new precast panels. Engineers budgeted the replacement work a few years ago after noticing cracks and chunks of loose concrete.

The $110 million project's exact funding breakdown is still being worked out. The authority has committed $57 million, but notes that a bill in Tallahassee could dissolve the authority and hand over its bonding capacity and assets and liabilities to Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, the state agency that operates the turnpike.

Chrzan said the authority is committed to the project, but uncertainty over the authority's future could make bond investors hesitant.

Whether or not the authority is absorbed into Turnpike Enterprise, the deck replacement and widening will proceed, Carson, the DOT spokeswoman, said.

A takeover of the authority would simply shift the responsibility for paying the bond investors to the enterprise.

Crosstown Expressway widening in downtown Tampa expected this summer 04/24/11 [Last modified: Sunday, April 24, 2011 9:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics


     Winner of the week

    Peter Antonacci. Gov. Rick Scott tapped his go-to utility player to lead his Florida job recruiting agency, Enterprise Florida, having previously picked him for his general counsel, to lead the South Florida Water Management District and to serve as Palm Beach state …

  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 19: A peregrina spends the whole day under the weather, and part of the day under the table


    Day 19: El Burgo Ranero to Puente Villarente: 25.4 km, 7.5 hours (Total for Days 1-19 = 454 km (282 miles)

    This list pretty much sums up my day:

    Eat two bananas

    Walk 13.1 kilometers


    Walk 6.2 kilometers


    Eat half an apple

    Walk 6.1 kilometers

    Crash< …

  3. Storm routs Cleveland


    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  4. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  5. Rowdies shut out Charleston


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.