Longest running road construction projects

Posted at 6:07 PM, May 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-13 19:00:32-04

Traffic headaches -- we all get them.

The I-Team is pinpointing the top 3 longest running construction projects.

"Traffic is horrible. The roads are horrible and I have to plan about an hour and a half just to get to work," said on driver.

"Now, without construction what would it take you?"

"About 30 minutes it should've."

The I-Team found the top 3 longest running road construction projects in greater Tampa Bay:

The longest? 

US 19 from north of Whitney Road to north of State Road 60.

The project started October, 2009. It's several months behind schedule.

Kris Carson with FDOT said the original expected completion date does not include allotted weather days or holidays.

"The contractor encountered many issues he wasn't prepared for that weren't on the plan. Such as a sinkhole that happened and also an old 1920's bridge that was buried underneath the ground. So that did delay the project," Carson said.

The total cost for the project is $119 million.  That's $10 million over the original budget.

Second Longest

Next up, I-275 widening from state road 60 to the Hillsborough River.

That project has been going on since 2012.  It's ahead of schedule.

"The job is going to wrap up this summer and is going to be done five months ahead of schedule," Carson said.

It's costing $224 million.  That's $9 million over the original budget.

Third Longest

Finally, the Ulmerton road widening project.

It started in late 2011.  It's behind schedule after the original contractor defaulted.

"From what we're understanding there could be some financial reasons and mismanagement on the projects," Carson said.

It's expected to be complete by this summer, more than a year past the original scheduled completion date.

This project has a price tag of $23 million.  That's $2 million over budget.

For everyone on the road, FDOT has a message for you:

"There's a lot of growth in the state of Florida. We have to keep in mind DOT is not in charge of land use.  So all these big neighborhoods that are planned, and shopping malls, and growth... We're just trying to keep up with it."