HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Transportation is taking the next step to get final approval to make major changes to the Howard Frankland Bridge, a move they say will help reduce constant bumper-to-bumper traffic.
To alleviate recurring congestion at the north end of the Howard Frankland Bridge, the Florida Department of Transportation is proposing improvements to add general use lanes in the Westshore area as well as adding express lane ramps coming on and off the bridge.
Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization is discussing FDOT's project on Wednesday morning.
The effect would be to add a general use lane in each direction, and ramps to/from two express lanes in each direction on the bridge, according to FDOT.
FDOT officials say the funding to make the operational improvements as early as 2019, and expects to have funding to build the express lane transitions as part of the bridge project in 2020-2024.
Since the MPO’s Imagine 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan does not identify the express lane ramps, it needs to be amended to add them.
The amendment must be approved by the MPO at an advertised public hearing and is scheduled to be held as part of the MPO board meeting at 9:00 AM on February 6, 2018
The proposed projects can be built within the existing footprint of I-275 and will not require additional right-of-way, FDOT says.