A major road project could ease your commute, even if you never drive it.
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority plans to start constructing the Selmon Expressway Extension Project in January 2018.
The Selmon Expressway Extension Project will allow Gandy drivers to skip the lights at Westshore, Manhattan and Lois. Drivers can then either exit at Dale Mabry or then continue onto the Selmon Expressway.
The extension will be constructed along the median of Gandy Boulevard. This is a move transportation leaders promise will cut some commutes by at least half. However, it will create a few years of road work.
"The construction fatigue, I definitely see that's out there,' said Sue Chrzan of the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority. "We're going to do things to help minimize that for our traveling public."
During construction, Chrzan said both lanes of Gandy will be open during rush hour. In non-peak hours, one lane will be closed.
THEA said the extension of the Selmon will really help during Tampa Bay Lightning games. They've found traffic can be back up on the Gandy Bridge into Tampa all the way into Pinellas County.
"I'm probably the last person that wants another construction project," said Bruce Holland, a Tampa driver. "But at the same time, being able to get over at least to the bridge connector, that would be fantastic."
THEA says this project will not force any businesses to close up or families to leave their homes.
The extension is also set to be raised 30 feet in the air, a move THEA said will allow people to have full line of sight to the businesses along Gandy Boulevard.
The Selmon Expressway Extension Project is expected to be complete and up and running by Fall 2020. The project will be paid for with existing money already raised from tolls.
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