TAMPA - Traffic heading northbound on I-275 has been shifted to the new alignment between West Shore Boulevard and Dale Mabry Highway, according to FDOT.
Also, all ramps that had been closed overnight, or for portions over the past week, have been reopened. This includes the eastbound State Road 60 entrance onto northbound I-275, the West Shore Boulevard entrance onto northbound I-275, northbound I-275 Exit 40B to Lois Avenue, and northbound Exit 41A/B to Dale Mabry Highway.
Traffic flowed well through last night's detour and is flowing well in the new alignment.
Motorists should be extra alert in this area as drivers get used to the changes.
"It's bad," said Terell Hicks, a motorist. "Before 5 o'clock traffic it be backed up already, so I don't like it."
The $216 million project is slated to wrap up in Fall 2016 and comes with the promise of four through-lanes in each direction and smoother roads that allow traffic signs to be seen better.
"As far as the commute time, definitely in the short term, it will reduce the travel time," said Dr. Pei-Sun Lin, Ph.D., program director of traffic operations at USF's Center for Urban Transportation Research.
Lin told ABC Action News the change in travel time varies from time of day and is different in each case. He added that construction is only a temporary solution to congestion and projects of this nature become cyclical.
"In the longer run, we will have some traffic congestion, in maybe another segment of the interstate and we will face another problem," he explained.
Lin suggests the only way to really tackle traffic trouble is to offer and promote other forms of transportation like biking, walking or even telecommuting.
Still, even if relief is only temporary, some drivers are looking forward to seeing less orange barrels.
"Only time will tell," said William Gatewood, a driver.