TAMPA, Fla. - The controversial plan to add express toll lanes on bay area roads is back on the table but this time under a new name. TBX is now Tampa Bay Next and the Florida Department of Transportation plans to kick things off at a public meeting tonight.
Much of the old plan is still under consideration including adding 90 miles of toll lanes to portions of I-4, I-75, and I-275 including the Howard Frankland Bridge. It would come at a cost of $6 billion and could impact dozens of people along a portion of 275.
The group Sunshine Citizens opposes Tampa Bay Next and has been fighting FDOT to save their homes and businesses in Seminole Heights. Expanding I-275 through this area would require FDOT to seize properties in order to make room for express toll lanes. It's the most controversial part of Tampa Bay Next.
FDOT is taking the next two years to research other successful highway projects to see what works well, re-evaluate the impact on the community and respond to people in an effort to open a two-way conversation between the department and the community.
The proposed start of construction would be around 2021.
FDOT's community meeting is tonight at 5:30pm at the Bryan Glazer Family Jewish Community Center on North Howard Avenue in Tampa.