Selmon Extension project set to start next phase of construction

Selmon Extension construction starts Sunday
Posted at 11:22 PM, Feb 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-05 07:06:22-05

TAMPA, Fla. -- Crews are getting ready to start work on a major Tampa intersection known for backups. The construction is part of the Selmon Extension project.

The eastbound and westbound Gandy Boulevard turn lanes at Manhattan Avenue will be closed for nearly a week at night.

“Oh it will be horrible, it’ll be horrible traffic is just going to back up,” Andrew Makoid said.

Many drivers along Gandy Boulevard are not looking forward to nearly a week of closures preventing turns at Manhattan Avenue. Andrew Makoid lives nearby and said traffic is already a nightmare.

“Right now you know it takes a long time at rush hour to get in and out of here,” Makoid said.

The work is part of a project transportation officials said could cut down drive times significantly in the future. Crews will be installing a shaft that will eventually be used to build permanent piers for the Selmon Extension project.

Through at least Friday, construction will happen from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.

“It’s going to be a pain for a while but you know overall it will probably be better,” Makoid said.

Officials said the extension will be 30 feet in the air, allowing Gandy drivers to skip the lights at Westshore, Manhattan and Lois. But the project isn't expected to be done until Fall of 2020, with a lot of work to make that happen.

"I think it sucks that they’re going to be closing the eastbound lanes so nobody’s going to be able to turn onto Manhattan,” Sharon Rosevelt said.

The construction is a big concern for Rosevelt, who has lived in the neighborhood her entire life.

“I feel bad for the businesses along Gandy look, Outback just opened up. How’s that going to affect their business? said Rosevelt. "They’re not going to have people going down here, they’re not going to be able to do a U-ey, to come back."

Officials said crews will keep noise and disruptions to a minimum.