TRAFFIC ALERT: Commuters, neighborhoods get ready for major shutdown of I-275 exit ramp

TAMPA, Fla. - Overnight Tuesday, road crews will begin shutting down one of the busiest exit ramps on I-275 in Tampa.

The Florida Department of Transportation plans to close the I-275 southbound ramp to Dale Mabry Highway for four months so crews can finish the reconstruction project.

The shutdown is expected to cause frustration and plenty of delays along the interstate and back roads as commuters look for a detour to Dale Mabry.

FDOT recommends motorists get off at the Himes Avenue exit and turn south down to Cypress Road, which connects to Dale Mabry.

"There's no real solution to it," said Guido Maniscalco, president of the MacFarlane Park Association next to the project. "I don't know how much worse it can get, other than malfunction junction down the road."

People living on the quiet back roads will likely discover traffic like they have never seen before.

"Why would they make these neighborhoods that are quiet into clusters of traffic?" said Mary Gerdes, who just built a privacy fence three weeks ago.

She hopes it will now relieve her new problem: Traffic noise.

"These are the two major streets that they're cutting through," she said, pointing to the streets right along her home.

FDOT urges commuters to plan ahead and expect delays.

"This is a big, big project and with big projects come big challenges," said John McShaffrey, public information officer for the FDOT's interstate construction. "We know it's an inconvenience for people, but it's necessary in order to build these improvements that we badly need."

The ramp is set to reopen by the time the Bucs get their regular season rolling in September.

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