Tour the new I-4 Selmon Expressway Connector

New connector opens to drivers at end of year

TAMPA - It just may be the best view of Tampa's skyline.

Workers are tethered in up here on top of the new North-South connector that will link two main thoroughfares for drivers.

"This is really the center of it all. This is kind of like the epicenter," explained Florida Department of Transportation's John McShaffrey. "Right now we're on one of the ramps that will take you from Interstate 4 going towards the Selmon Expressway."

McShaffrey is giving us a first look the I-4 Selmon Expressway connector which won't open until the end of the year.

"Right now they are installing the tolling equipment," he said. "I believe they go from about 75-cents up to a $1.25, $1.50. It all depends on where you're coming from and where you're connecting to."

The I-4 Selmon Expressway Connector runs west of Tampa's 31st Street.  It's upwards of a $400 million dollar project which is being built through state and federal money.

"If you're coming from Brandon, and you want to go maybe to North Tampa, up I-275, right now you would get off on 50th Street and maybe 21st, 22nd Street, and go that way. When the project is done, you could be coming from Brandon on the Selmon Expressway, hit the connector, go up to I-4 and then hit I-275 to go you north," said McShaffrey.

He says the connector will ease traffic in Ybor City, routing trucks from the port onto "truck only" ramps to I-4.

But the biggest benefit is for commuters.

"It absolutely should be a time saver, should be a time and gas saver, because you're going to keep moving," said McShaffrey.

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