TAMPA — Drivers on the Veterans Expressway and on southbound Interstate 275 in downtown Tampa will encounter some changes starting Friday night.
Because of the expansion project, drivers headed south into downtown will face detours over the next two weekends. The detours are set to go into effect late Friday and Saturday and then again June 20 and 21 — between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. each time, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Southbound traffic will be diverted off the interstate at Exit 45A and then directed south onto Ashley Drive. Drivers then turn right onto Kennedy Boulevard, go west to Howard Avenue, then right on Howard to the interstate overpasses to catch the ramp crossing Armenia Avenue and back to southbound I-275.
The DOT advises drivers who are going to be affected by the detours to leave an extra 15 minutes for travel time.
Drivers on the Veterans Expressway will pay tolls without stopping or waiting in line at certain points.
The changeover is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Friday. Florida's Turnpike Enterprise will bill drivers only by SunPass or toll-by-plate billing at the Hillsborough and Waters avenue ramps, as well as the Anderson mainline toll plaza.
In a few weeks, tolls at Gunn Highway, Hutchison Road and the Sugarwood mainline toll plaza will also go electronic.
The change affects the stretch of highway through Hillsborough County but not farther north as the Veterans Expressway becomes the Suncoast Parkway.