If Tampa’s future transportation projects proceed on schedule, the city’s transit system will be positively transformed in the next decade. Nobody likes being stuck in traffic; not you, and not Tampa construction lawyers.
In part one of this two-part article, our Tampa construction lawyers examined two upcoming projects that aim to minimize Tampa’s traffic issues. In part two, we will examine three more high-impact transportation projects being developed in Tampa.
The First Regional Mass Transit System in Tampa
Sometimes you need to think big to solve a city’s transportation issues. Consultants of the city of Tampa agree. They believe the solution to Tampa’s transit woes comes in the form of a 41-mile bus rapid transit (BRT) system connecting St. Petersburg and Wesley Chapel.
Tampa has been actively seeking the funds to build a light rail system for years, but for regional businesses and political leaders, a less expensive option like BRT is a worthy replacement that will likely cull more support from voters. It is estimated that building a regional BRT system of this magnitude would take about five years. Before construction can begin, the Hillsborough County Commission will have to collaborate with officials from Pinellas and Pasco county to clear a series of political and financial hurdles.
The New Howard Franklin Bridge
The Howard Franklin Bridge connects Tampa and St. Petersburg. The northbound span, constructed in 1960, is ready for a facelift but if current plans reach fruition, the bridge will receive a complete overhaul. By the time this project is completed in 2024, the Howard Franklin will have four traffic lanes and two express toll lanes traveling in both directions. Currently, toll rates are being calculated based on demand, but these express lanes could also facilitate the use of a bus rapid transit system or self-driving automobiles. And for those who don’t drive, a biking and walking trail is being planned so anyone can use the bridge.
Tampa Bay Next
Express toll lanes are a popular trend in transit redevelopment and it’s easy to see why. Express toll lanes are less costly to implement than brand new projects that need to be built from the ground up. Nobody is forced to use express toll lanes, but those who do are treated to significantly less traffic, and the project gets a convenient kickback every time someone decides to take the fast route home. The Tampa Bay Next project plans to implement express toll lanes along I-275 and I-4, similar to the express toll lanes installed on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway. The Hillsborough County Commission is collecting public feedback on Tampa Bay Next before they make any definitive moves.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.