NEW TAMPA — Commuters heading for Interstate 75 here will get a long-awaited break Thursday morning — a flyover.
The Florida Department of Transportation said Monday that one lane will open on the tall new bridge. It will allow southbound drivers to veer off Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, soar over I-75, then merge into its southbound lane.
"We're pretty comfortable with the Thursday date unless there's a complete washout that night," the DOT's John McShaffrey said Monday.
The state's contractor on the $42-million project, PCL Civil Constructors of Northdale, is far ahead of schedule. But after the DOT predicted the flyover would open last Friday, rain caused a delay.
Then skies cleared enough over the weekend for PCL's asphalt subcontractor to apply a final layer on a ramp leading from the flyover. It's to open by 5 a.m. Thursday. "The only thing that's weather-dependent is a little bit of striping they have to do," McShaffrey said.
The flyover's second lane won't open until later this summer, when its merge lane on I-75 is ready, according to the DOT. PCL is required to finish by next spring, but is likely to finish by year's end, he said.