TAMPA - The Anderson Road northbound off-ramp and southbound on-ramp at the Veterans Expressway are CLOSED until further notice for reconstruction of the Anderson ramp fly-over bridge. To access southbound Veterans Expressway, motorists will be directed to the Waters Avenue on-ramp. Traffic wanting to exit to Anderson Road will have to use the Waters or Linebaugh Avenue off-ramps. If you have questions about the new traffic pattern, contact me via Twitter @TampaBayTraffic.
The first of five projects to widen 11 miles of the Veterans Expressway in Hillsborough County commenced April 21. When all projects are completed, the $386 million in improvements will:
- double the capacity of the highway from four to eight lanes by adding two new lanes in each direction between Memorial Highway and Gunn Highway;
- Include future widening from Gunn Highway to Van Dyke Rd.
- Reconstruct 38 existing bridges and construct three new bridges.
- Convert the section of highway from Memorial Highway to Van Dyke Rd to all-electronic tolling (AET) providing non-stop travel to the nearly 150,000 customers who travel the Veterans Expressway on a daily basis. By mid 2014, the Veterans will eliminate cash toll collection in favor of all-electronic tolling, although roadway construction will continue. After conversion, motorists who use the Veterans must have a SunPass prepaid toll account, or they will be mailed a bill and charged a monthly invoice fee.
- Introduce the Express Lane concept to Tampa Bay.
Phase I widening between Memorial and Gunn began April 21, with completion by 2016. Overnight inside lane closures are required while crews set a barrier wall and prepare for construction. Two lanes will remain open in each direction during daytime hours. On April 29, construction will begin between Linebaugh and Barry Road (south of Waters near the Channel G Canal). This section includes the Anderson mainline toll plaza. Later this year, the Anderson ramps will be closed for approximately six months while the flyover ramp bridges are reconstructed. By summer of 2014, the toll plaza will be demolished and all-electronic toll gantries will be in place. There currently is not a start date for the section of roadway between Barry Road and Memorial Highway.
Phase II widening between Gunn Highway and the Sugarwood Toll Plaza is expected to begin in fiscal year 2014.
Phase III widening between the Sugarwood Toll Plaza and Van Dyke Road is expected to begin in fiscal year 2015.
Conversion to all-electronic tolling will be completed between Memorial and Van Dyke will be implemented by late spring 2014. All-electronic tolling on the Suncoast Parkway could be in place by early 2015.
If you have a question about this project, contact Traffic Reporter Meredyth Censullo via @TampaBayTraffic.