Florida DOT Launches $1b Overhaul of Tampa Highway

The metro area population of Tampa in 2023 is 2,977,000 people.

Source : Wikimedia

May 7, 2023

Author : Alex Bustillos

Tampa is one of Florida's busiest and most populated cities, witnessing hundreds of cars plying through its roads daily. 

In addition to the thousands of daily tourists and out-of-town commuters, Tampa is home to hundreds of thousands of drivers, all of whom contribute to extremely congested roads, particularly during rush hour.

To beat the traffic, Florida DOT has recently initiated a project for modernizing the 4.2-mile Westshore Interchange (I-275/SR 60) overhaul, one of the busiest interchanges in Tampa, Florida. This project aims to improve safety and increase traffic capacity to reduce traffic flow on the Tampa Highway. 

FDOT has named Jacksonville, Florida-based Superior Construction and Cheshire, Connecticut-based Lane Construction as a preferred team in exclusivity for the project. This would be a multi-year effort with a total of $1 billion. 

The joint venture, in which both businesses hold a 50% stake, has already signed a $10 million contract for the project's planning phase with the FDOT. The planning phase will conclude in November 2023, and construction will commence in the spring of 2024, which will be awarded as a separate contract.

The I-275, SR 60, and Veterans Expressway converge at the Westshore Interchange. The project will expand capacity along the east end of the Howard Frankland Bridge to Lois Avenue and north of State Road 60 to State Road 589. 

The JV team will completely redesign the Interchange with a contemporary design and increase capacity with general use and express lanes with tolls. Among other upgrades, the current loop ramp from west SR 60 to north I-275 will be changed for flyover ramps. It will also have connectivity to Tampa International Airport's direct express lanes. 

The Westshore district is Florida's largest central business district, with over 4,000 enterprises, two shopping malls, 40 hotels, and 250 restaurants. The Raymond James Stadium and downtown Tampa are just a short distance away. The importance of the strategic project is abundantly clear and will play a pivotal role in accommodating burgeoning traffic, which is anticipated to reach 400,000 vehicles on the road by 2045.

The Superior-Lane joint venture team has earlier completed a total of $4.9 billion in PDB transportation projects, including $3 billion in toll-managed fast lanes. FDOT's first PDB contract for emergency repairs after Hurricane Ian,  to the Sanibel Causeway was recently given to joint venture leader Superior. 

After rapidly rebuilding the Sanibel Causeway in the fall of last year, Superior Construction attracted huge attention on a national scale. Lane is also working on widening the I-275, which will help improve the flow of people and commodities through the region. 

Both companies have experience navigating the project's unique difficulties, including the requirement for transit accommodations, multilevel system interchanges, working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and accommodating extremely high traffic volumes in urban areas.

Kevin McGlinchey, the Southeast Division President of Superior Construction, said, "The collaborative approach to the Sanibel Causeway emergency repairs ensured a timely and successful outcome. We plan to replicate that with Tampa's Westshore Interchange project to bring this vision to life with minimal disruptions."

Category : Department of Transportation State Government Freeways and Highways

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