A 21st century, thriving metropolitan area needs modern transportation infrastructure. The Tampa Bay area is the 5thfastest-growing metro area in the nation, with approximately 58,000 people moving here in 2016, and more than 22 million visitors to Hillsborough County in 2015. Demand on our current interstate system is steadily increasing, and traffic projections show average daily traffic doubling in some sections of I-275 by 2040.
Tampa’s two major interchanges – in the Westshore area and Downtown – were built in the 1960s and have only had intermittent operational improvements since then. They no longer function properly and cause traffic backups on the interstates that affect the arterials and local street systems. When drivers are sitting in gridlock on the Howard Frankland Bridge, Veterans Expressway, I-275 north of Downtown, or I-4 east of Downtown, that congestion is primarily caused by increased demand and the funneling effect at these two interchanges. To fix these bottlenecks, we have to bring the Westshore area and Downtown interchanges up to modern standards while enhancing operating conditions.
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Interstate modernization isn’t just about redesigning interchanges and building more lanes. FDOT is looking at innovations that take advantage of smart vehicle technology and smart infrastructure. To learn more about these innovations, click here.
For a truly modern infrastructure system, FDOT is planning its interstate improvements to be fully integrated with regional initiatives and the emerging multimodal environment.
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