TRAFFIC: Northbound I-275 jammed due to construction and repairs at Lois Av. exit

FDOT closed one lane on NB I-275 between SR 60 and Lois Ave. to fix asphalt problems.  Expect delays.


If you were on I-275  north through Tampa this weekend, or -- especially this morning -- there is no need to tell you about the traffic troubles along the Lois Avenue construction zone.

All but one lane shut down in what was supposed to be an over-the-weekend fix that just ran too long.

All lanes on northbound I-275 were reopened around 6:50 a.m. Monday after repairs were made near the Lois Avenue exit.  Traffic was backed up to the Howard Frankland Bridge, after repairs that were supposed to be done by 8 a.m. Sunday developed delays.

As contractors discovered an underlying issue with the firmness of the ground under the newly dumped asphalt, the repair went way past the deadline… and cause a lot of Sunday drivers to rue the decision to take the Howard Frankland Bridge into Tampa…

"So all we can do in those circumstances is close the lane and make the repairs," said Department of Transportation spokesman John McShaffrey.  "Figure what went wrong later."

That figuring out going on now… in the aftermath, but it did no good for those stuck in the hours-long back-ups that stretched for miles.

Motorists making u-turns to try and go back the wrong way over the bridge… just to get moving…  caused another set of issues.  And once the Monday morning traffic started making its way across the Bay, it was almost a crisis.  The lanes were reopened prior to sunrise, but there is some concern that they could be shut down again later today for the exact same underlying reasons.

"Safety is number one in the motoring public," said McShaffrey. "If it means we have to close a land or two to make sure they're not driving through potholes, blowing out tires, causing accidents -- we're obviously going to do that."

In fact, there are discussions ongoing right now as to how to best maintaining the roadway through here… officials TRYING to make sure that the fewest closures or re-routes are required.. but its a construction project, and as us travelers have seen for the past ten years now… its always good to pack your patience.

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