FDOT looking for community input to push forward Tampa Bay Next options

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — FDOT continues to push forward its plans to work on alleviating future major traffic issues in Tampa Bay.

Their new vision is called Tampa Bay Next. It is a reset to the TBX project. They said they are no longer considering express lanes north of 275. They have several other options. They said they want the community involved.   

“We heard a lot of meeting fatigue, but this is….this is probably one of the most important conversations that this region is going to be having (and) addressing cause we have a chance now to do it and do it right,” Ed McKinney, Planning and Environmental Administrator for District 7 DOT office, said.

McKinney said the options they are considering do not impact right of way as much and it could mean purchasing less property around the highways. They want the community to continue to be engaged in their conversations. 

“It’s listening to what people have been telling us and trying to find options that could still move traffic because we’re still a growing region. We got a lot of traffic coming,” McKinney said.

FDOT said it is also about integrating transit.

“Whether it’s using (the) existing shoulder or accommodating transit some other way...so that’s also part of the conversation that’s been going on and so this is not just a road project,” McKinney said.

FDOT said there will be more meetings and workshops in the future. They stressed nothing is set in stone. They said once they agree on a proposal, the next part is making sure they have the funds to start construction.

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