TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) is conducting a study to evaluate the needs, costs, and effects of constructing an additional lane to the Reversible Express Lane from Palm River Road to I-75 and additional mainline lanes of the expressway from Brorein Street to I-75.
Beginning of study area
End of study area
Depending on the needs, this future capacity improvement is anticipated to include operational improvements to interchanges, ramps, and connections at Brorein Street, Kennedy Boulevard, I-4 Connector, US-301, and I-75 will also be evaluated.
THEA said these improvements would increase traffic capacity and safety on the Selmon Expressway. Improving travel times is also a big focus as a part of this study.
Traffic is projected to increase by 70% by 2040, according to the expressway authority. Tampa's transportation leaders are now saying the Selmon Expressway will need some way to increase the capacity and make traffic more efficient. THEA said this project partially addresses those needs.
Traffic congestion may be contributing to safety issues for drivers as well. According to the 2016 FDOT Strategic Highway Safety Plan, traffic tie-ups were a factor in a high percentage (35%) of rear-end crashes on the Selmon Expressway from Downtown Tampa to I-75.
Crashes and fatalities have been trending up in the years 2012 to 2016, with the highest number of crashes and fatalities in 2016 (192 and 5, respectively), according to the report.
Transportation leaders say safety enhancements are needed to address state and local “Vision Zero” safety plan goals to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries.
This study will be presented to the Hillsborough MPO on Wednesday, December 16.