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New lanes for Punch-Through Project expected to open by end of July

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Posted at 6:49 AM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 09:04:42-04

A long-awaited project to help prevent bumper to bumper traffic on the Howard Frankland is expected to wrap up sooner than expected.

In fact, the Florida Department of Transportation says drivers should be able to use the new lanes by the end of July, if the weather cooperates.

The $31 million so-called “punch-through” project will add a lane to both directions of I-275 between the exit ramps to SR 60 and entrance ramps from SR 60. FDOT is also adding a lane to the 275 northbound exit ramp to SR 60. Plus, the current merge lane from SR 60 eastbound to 275 NB will continue to Lois Avenue.

The project was one of many across the state chosen to be accelerated because of light traffic volume due to the pandemic.

Kris Carson, FDOT District 7 spokesperson, says the lack of congestion allowed crews to expand daily lane closure hours and, in turn, increase productivity.

However, drivers should still expect to see night time lane closures and detours in the West Shore area. Those closures and detours will continue even after the new lanes are open so crews can finish up the final steps of the project.

For the latest traffic updates, follow @TampaBayTraffic on Twitter. https://twitter.com/tampabaytraffic.