Changes ahead for I-275 in Tampa

TAMPA - Things will be a little different along the stretch of I-275 from east of SR 60 to the Hillsborough River. That's because exit closures and lane shifts will officially go into place next Thursday.  

Its estimated that around 175,000 cars travel this stretch of highway everyday and DOT spokesman John McShaffrey says the $215.4 million project will not only widen the road, but also make it safer to travel.  

Safety is the main reason McShaffrey says the DOT needs motorists to understand the changes that will be happening. 

The biggest of those changes will be the closure of the heavily traveled dump off point from the highway; currently known as the Howard/Armenia/Himes exit southbound. 

"When you're coming south from downtown down the Interstate and you want to exit for Howard or Armenia avenue, you'll need to be in the left lane come Thursday morning," says McShaffrey.

Other changes will includes lane shifts in the area.  Although three lanes will still be available during the day, there will be a noticeable shift to the left.

But why are the changes even necessary?  McShaffrey says the Interstate is under old standards, it's time for a facelift and code corrections.

"We won't have that roller coaster affect that we have today in certain areas," says McShaffrey.  "Where you go up over the crossroads and back down.  So we'll have a flatter interstate so you can see much further up the road, so if traffic is stopping you can see up ahead."

DOT wants motorists to be aware of some lane closures between 10pm and 530am.  Exits are expected to reopen to the right in about 18 months. 

They expect the project will be complete in the Fall of 2016. For more information on the project visit

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