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FDOT planning to add extra lanes to I-275 West Shore Interchange to reduce traffic congestion

Posted at 6:28 AM, Dec 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-07 06:29:06-05

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — FDOT is planning to add extra lanes to the I-275 West Shore Interchange in an effort to combat traffic bottlenecks on the Howard Frankland Bridge heading north into Tampa.

FDOT is adding one additional lane in each direction at the West Shore I-275 interchange. Then, at the ramp, the state will add an additional lane to get traffic off to either Kennedy Blvd or Tampa International Airport.

“That will help alleviate some of the congestion that follows to the airport at Kennedy,” said Marshall Hampton, FDOT District 7 Special Projects Administrator. 

The project, also called the I-275 Operational Improvement Punch-Through Project, will help eliminate a serious safety issue, FDOT said.

By adding additional lanes, three in each direction, and one at the off-ramp, as well as the auxiliary lane between West Shore and Lois, it reduces the need for merges or weave conditions,” Hampton said. “It will allow more cars to go through at peak-hour times.” 

FDOT said that means you’ll see traffic moving faster through rush hour, reducing overall congestion.

The state is also planning to add an additional lane to the Tampa International Airport Ramp to the State Route 60 and additional lanes coming off of West Shore going to Lois.

“This will help with the merge condition that is there,” Hampton said. “It will allow people extra time to get to Lois if they want to get to that exit.”

ABC Action News asked FDOT officials what the state is doing to prevent traffic headaches during construction.

Hampton said most of the construction adding lanes to the interchange will be done at night or at off-peak hours. 

FDOT also plans to maintain two lanes in each direction throughout construction.

Construction on the $29M project should start in mid-to-late summer and should last about two years, FDOT officials said.