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USF grad leading construction of new Howard Frankland Bridge

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Posted at 4:41 PM, Aug 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-12 18:59:35-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Conrad Campbell grew up in Tampa playing with model trains. But after graduating from USF, he’s a different kind of engineer.

Now Conrad is heading up the biggest project of his career, the new Howard Frankland Bridge.

“It’s an engineering feat. That’s what I went to school for and it’s great to see it actually happen.”

He said it’s not a complex project, but it is a massive one.

“It’s well over 150 feet wide. It’s going to carry a lot of traffic. So the sheer size of it. The amount of concrete. The amount of steel that goes into it is unique. As well as in Florida the geological conditions are unique. So there are a lot of underground foundations that go to supporting the bridge. That’s another one of the challenges on the project.”

The bridge covers more than six miles and will cost more than $865 million.

About 250 workers are on the job here each day. It will take them until the end of 2025 to complete this project.

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Right now there are four lanes going each way but after the project is done there will be 6 in each direction.

And yes, designers said traffic flow will be much improved.

“I live in Tampa. I grew up in Tampa. I have a lot of friends who are here so they ask questions about it too. So things are going to be better and I’m happy to be able to say that,” said Campbell.

Along with the new bridge, there’s also going to be a new pedestrian walkway that’s going to go all the way across for bikers, runners, and walkers.

Although the project won’t be done for a few more years, when the first section is complete in less than a year, engineers said drivers should start to see that traffic moving better.

Once the new bridge is finished, the section built in the 1960s will be demolished.

The Howard Frankland bridge first opened in 1960 with just two lanes in each direction and is named for the Tampa businessman who first proposed it.