U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined state and local officials for a tour of the Tampa Interstate Study (TIS) – a series of significant highway improvements in and around I-4, SR-60 and the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway. Planning for this $1.8 billion effort, which relies on $941 million in federal funding, began in 1989. The current phase of construction is expected to be completed in September of 2016.
"These badly needed improvements to the major routes through Tampa and Ybor City will greatly improve the area's ability to keep pace with the constant demands of a growing region," said Secretary Foxx. "The American people want better roads and bridges to get them safely where they need to go and projects like the Tampa Interstate Study are why we need Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill."
The Obama Administration recently unveiled the GROW AMERICA Act, a bold $302 billion, four-year national vision to address the country's aging transportation network without adding to the deficit. It will support millions of American jobs repairing and modernizing roads, bridges, railways and transit systems as well as help ensure that American businesses can compete effectively in the global economy and grow.
When the TIS is completed, newly added lanes, ramps and other improvements will reduce traffic congestion significantly and improve emergency evacuations in a major regional freight corridor. The TIS will improve the Tampa area's largest interstate corridors, including I-4 from the I-275/I-4 interchange to 50th Street, I-275 from Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard to the Howard Frankland Bridge, SR 60 from north of Cypress Street to the I-275/SR-60 interchange, and the I-4/Crosstown Connector between I-4 and the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway.
"Investments like this one mean safer driving, less traffic congestion and more business opportunities for Tampa-area residents," said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. "An investment in America's infrastructure is an investment in America's future."
The project's extensive work to protect historic properties in nearby Ybor City serves as an example of best practices for preservation on similar projects nationwide. In addition, the Florida Department of Transportation partnered with the City of Tampa to ensure public input on bike paths, specialty lighting and decorative walls at bridges throughout the project.
The TIS is the first major overhaul of roads in the Tampa area since most of its interstates were designed and built more than 50 years ago.