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Safety upgrades and pedestrian improvements coming to Kennedy Boulevard

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Posted at 6:46 AM, Feb 23, 2022

TAMPA, Fla. — The Florida Department of Transportation and the City of Tampa are working together to make changes to Kennedy Boulevard from West Shore Boulevard to MacDill Avenue.

“We did a crash analysis out there and unfortunately a lot of drivers are taking a lot of risks, making left turns cutting in and out of traffic,” said Kris Carson, public information officer for FDOT.

Some of the safety improvements a part of this project include:

  • lowering the speed limit to 40mph
  • changing medians, closing most of them
  • lengthening turn lanes
  • adjusting traffic signal timing

“We know some folks may have a hard time getting used to those changes but in time they will get used to them and it’s going to be a much safer corridor,” said Carson.

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FDOT said the biggest change by far that will affect people’s routes are those median changes. Almost all of them will be adjusted on Kennedy Boulevard from West Shore Boulevard to MacDill Avenue.

“A couple of median areas that we’re changing have over 40 crashes and they can be corrected by simple median changes so we’re doing all of this for safety,” said Carson.

Crews are also working on several safety upgrades for pedestrians including:

  • adding LED lighting
  • widening sidewalks to eight feet
  • repairing any sidewalks that can’t be widened
  • repainting crosswalks a bright white

“That’s the whole goal of this, making sure people see pedestrians,” said Carson.

“Really this comes down to safety. Our whole goal is to improve safety in the corridor,” she added.

Construction is now happening during the day and night. Businesses will remain open in the construction zones.

Work requiring lane closures will happen between 9 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

“We ask for drivers to slow down, especially during construction with the workers out there but really the lane closures are kept to a minimum,” said Carson.