TAMPA, Fla — For Brenda Wyatt, who’s lived at her home on Interbay Boulevard for 31 years, trash day can be tricky thanks to the traffic that streams by constantly, at times, on Interbay.
“I didn’t want to come around the front and lift the lid, so I just kind of snuck behind it,” she said Friday, after carefully adding a bag of trash to her bin. “They were flying.”
It wasn’t always that way. But Wyatt says recent growth has made the traffic more constant and more frustrating.
“It’s only going to get worse, because they’re continuing to build, which means more traffic,” she said.
Now, the City of Tampa is ready to help. It’s ready to spend potentially $8 million dollars improving the 2.93-mile span of the corridor, which is just north of MacDill Air Force Base, between West Shore and Bayshore boulevards.
Cal Hardie, the Capital Projects Manager at the City of Tampa’s Mobility Department, said the improvements should directly address the corridor’s current congestion and safety issues.
“The area south of Gandy is currently growing pretty quickly, so we noticed Interbay Boulevard is a corridor that has some operation issues. It has some safety issues,” he said. “Really, what we’re trying to do is improve the safety.”
The city is considering a long list of improvements:
- Proposed addition of an approximately 10’ wide trail, on one side of the corridor
- Sidewalk gaps on opposite side of the right-of-way from the trail (50% of total length) are proposed to be filled with new sidewalk segments
- Possible roundabouts or extensive turn lane widening/signal modifications at the intersections of West Shore Blvd, Lois Ave, and MacDill Ave.
- Operational Improvements at the Dale Mabry Hwy intersection
- Possible new signalized intersection at Himes Ave.
- Approximately 8 new Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacon (RRFB)-enhanced crosswalk locations, between major intersections
- Proposed addition of a center turn lane within the corridor
- Potential reductions of open-ditch drainage system
- Milling and Resurfacing
- Proposed landscaping/irrigation
Completion dates for the potential work are yet to be determined, but Hardie said some of the easier projects could begin quickly.
However, before any of the work happens, Hardie needs feedback from the people who drive, walk, or bike the road. The feedback can be sent to the city on the phone, through email, or in a virtual public hearing next week.
To share your feedback, call or email Nina Mabilleau at 813-274-8542 or email InterbayBoulevardProject@tampagov.net. The virtual public meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19. The city will post a link to the meeting on the project webpage by January 12.
“We can go study a corridor. We know exactly where the crashes happen and things like that happen, but we want to see how the corridor works for people,” Hardie said. “Any input is valuable. We rely upon that.”
Back at her longtime home, when asked for her feedback, Wyatt said the city must do more to slow speeders on Interbay Boulevard. It’s a problem she’s not sure even the list of improvements proposed by the city will fix.
“We have a young new driver. He’s not driving yet, but he’s going to be. He’s 17,” she said. “It scares me to death to think that he’s going to be on this road with these people that’ll pass each other on this road.”