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Selmon Expressway west extension now open

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Posted at 5:06 AM, Apr 19, 2021

The Selmon Expressway west extension is now open.

Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) announced its plan to open the elevated 1.9-mile toll lane Monday, which will provide a seamless connection and a safe transportation option for drivers traveling from Brandon to Pinellas County.

Construction of the $230 million project began in late 2018.

RECOMMENDED: Businesses looking forward to opening of Selmon Expressway West Extension

“This project has been 25 years in the making, and I am thrilled it’s finally ready to open. THEA challenged our design-build team to come up with an innovative and aesthetically pleasing design that would minimize the negative effects of construction on the businesses along the Gandy corridor,” said THEA Executive Director, Joe Waggoner.

The bridge’s distinctive fins provide a useful purpose by supporting the bridge deck, enabling longer span lengths between pier columns, and reducing height cross-section for the precast segments. While most bridges stand 15’ off the ground, business owners along Gandy Boulevard were concerned that their businesses’ sightline would be blocked by a bridge that stood only at 15’ tall.

Because of that, they built the Selmon Extension 30’ from the ground to the bottom of the bridge.

The Selmon West Extension offers drivers a choice, either stay on Gandy Boulevard for local destinations or use the Selmon West Extension for regional “pass-through” trips. The cost to use the Extension is $0.95 with SunPass or $1.31 with Toll-By-Plate billing.

“The Selmon Extension provides a critical link that connects businesses, freight, and people from Pinellas County to Hillsborough County. It will help stimulate social and economic prosperity for local businesses and the entire region. We are proud of the design and the execution and the fact we were able to keep people employed and keep construction moving forward during the pandemic,” says Vincent Cassidy, Chairman, THEA Board of Directors.