Veterans Expressway Express Lanes Opening This Weekend

TAMPA — Christmas is coming early for some drivers in Tampa, who will finally start to see some rush hour relief as early as next week.

Beginning Saturday, December 9, 2017 the northbound and southbound express lanes on the Veterans Expressway will open to drivers.

This is the first six-mile phase of the project and it extends from Hillsborough Avenue to Gunn Highway. Drivers can enter northbound at Hillsborough Avenue with the first accessible exit at Gunn Highway. Customers traveling southbound can enter at Gunn Highway with the first accessible exit at SR 60. 

The general use toll lanes will allow drivers to cruise through a very congested section of the Veterans.

In 2018, FDOT will begin dynamic tolling to use the same lanes, which means drivers will pay a general toll plus a variable express lane toll.

The express lane toll will only apply as traffic begins to build in the express lanes, which will most often be the weekday morning and weekday evening hours. It's important drivers know the express lanes are for people who have an active SunPass or other interoperable transponder. Drivers cannot pay for tolls in the express lanes using cash or TOLL-BY-PLATE.  Also, only 2-axle vehicles are allowed in the express lanes. Vehicles pulling boats or trailers are not permitted. 

It's important drivers know the express lanes are for people who have an active SunPass or other interoperable transponder. Drivers cannot pay for tolls in the express lanes using cash or TOLL-BY-PLATE.  Also, only 2-axle vehicles are allowed in the express lanes. Vehicles pulling boats or trailers are not permitted. 

The project to widen one of the main arteries into Tampa began in 2013 and will wrap up in 2018 at a cost of $380 million. According to transportation engineers at the Florida Turnpike, this is the first time in the United States a toll road is getting a more expensive toll lane. 

The section of the project from Gun Highway to the Dale Mabry Highway is expected to open in the Spring of 2018.  The reconstruction of the Veterans Expressway includes additional capacity, conversion to all electronic toll collection, interchange/intersection improvements and other roadway safety and aesthetic enhancements.

For more information on the Veterans Expressway express lanes, click here.

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