Rubber Meets The Road header

 Issue: 1


Newsletter of the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization's Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

May 2011  


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Four Projects Considered For Funding 
Public Comments on TIP Amendment Requested This Week

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The MPO will hold a meeting on May 3, 2011 at 9am in the County Commission Chamber, 601 East Kennedy Blvd, 2nd Floor, Tampa to consider four amendments to the Transportation Improvement Program.


  1. A proposed paved trail along the south side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway is anticipated to begin construction in 2012.

  2. The widening of SR 574 will expand the current 3-lane rural roadway-one travel lane in each direction with a center turn lane - to a 5-lane urban roadway - two travel lanes in each direction with a center turn lane. This project also includes sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and operational improvements at intersections.

  3. The I-275 Howard Frankland Bridge amendment is to design a resurfacing project from the east end of the Howard Frankland Bridge to the West Kennedy Blvd Ramps.

  4. The addition of a sidewalk on Fern St in the Egypt Lake/ Leto area will provide a safe passage for students walking and biking to and from Alexander Elementary School and Pierce Middle School. Continuous sidewalk connections are currently provided to both schools via Hesperides St. The addition of this sidewalk would also provide access to the West Sports Complex located on Occident St. 

For more information or to provide a comment to the MPO Board, contact Wally Blain at 273-3774 x. 361 or  

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40th Street Grand Opening 
New bridge open to traffic

40th Street Bridge

Widening 40th Street between Hillsborough and Fowler, and fixing the poor track record of head-on collisions, has been a priority of the MPO for a decade.  On March 28, 2011, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the completion of the two newly constructed lanes of the 40th Street Bridge. The lanes, now open for traffic, allow for the existing bridge to be demolished and the final two lanes to be constructed.


With this improvement to 40th Street between Hillsborough Avenue and Busch Boulevard a critical link for the mobility of city residents has been completed. Improvements include roadway, storm water, water, wastewater, street lighting, sidewalks and landscaping.  The reconstruction also includes three roundabouts which provide continuous traffic flow in place of the previous traffic lights. Tampa has posted on its website an instructional video for those unfamiliar with driving modern roundabouts.


The reconstruction of 40th Street was a collective community project led by the City of Tampa involving many dedicated community leaders, business owners, and governmental agencies. For more information please visit Tampa's 40th Street Project.


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Veterans Expressway Widening  
The Current Tentative shows the construction in 2013/2014

Veterans Expressway

Addressing one of the most congested highways in Hillsborough County, the Florida Turnpike Enterprise has been able to fund the widening of the Veterans Expressway from 4 to 8 lanes, between Memorial and Gunn Highway. The widening will also include 6 express lanes at the Anderson toll plaza, and All-Electronic Toll conversion for the northern portion of the Veterans and The Suncoast Parkway in Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties. During this Work Program update, design for the segment from Gunn to Van Dyke was added in 2015/2016.

Further information is available from Shannon Estep ( or 407-264-3089) or Florida's Turnpike Authority website.

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HART's MetroRapid in Final Design 
Opening slated for 2013

MetroRapid Transit


MetroRapid is a new type of express bus service coming to Hillsborough County. It features traffic signal priority technology, which will hold green lights longer and shorten red lights for these special buses, providing for more frequent service, travel-time savings and better reliability. Making these improvements to the flow of bus traffic also provides benefit to the auto travel times as well. MetroRapid will also include enhanced passenger shelters with real-time schedule information and ticket vending machines at major stops.


The first line in Hillsborough County, MetroRapid North-South, will run about 17.5 miles along Nebraska and Fletcher Avenues, from Downtown Tampa to Telecom Park (west of I-75). A new park and ride facility is planned in the Fletcher Avenue/I-75 area.  The total cost of the MetroRapid North-South project is $31 million and is being paid for by funds from the Hillsborough County Community Investment Tax (CIT). The project is scheduled to be completed in early 2013.


For more information about this project, visit the Capital Projects page on or call the HART Planning Department at 813-384-6591.


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Safer Walking Near USF: On The Way 
Ped Safety Action Plan Recommendations To Be Realized

Pedestrian Safety Example


A study of pedestrian safety in Hillsborough County identified Fletcher Ave as an area needing improvement. Now the County is moving ahead to design safer sidewalks, crosswalks, bicycle lanes, and other enhancements between Nebraska Avenue and 50th Street. Public meetings will be held this fall and construction is anticipated in the summer of 2012.


Stay tuned for more information!



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Boyette Widening Starts This Summer 
Two-Year Construction Project

Boyette Road widening


Boyette Road from McMullen Road to Bell Shoals Road is proposed to be widened from the existing two lane road to a four lane divided highway. It will include bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides and varied landscaped medians. It will also include bus bays where appropriate. Construction is estimated to start in late August 2011 and should be completed by August 2013. The total cost for this segment of the project is approximately $22 million.


For more information, visit, Public Works, Major Community Projects.



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FDOT Moves Ahead 
Projects advanced & under construction this year

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One bright spot during this challenging economic time has been the ability to fund and implement some transportation projects sooner than originally planned. As a result of a highly competitive bidding environment FDOT has been able to bring more projects to construction this year. Some of those projects, along with the anticipated date when bids will be accepted include:


  • I-275 from North of Bearss to I-75 -- Widening to 6 lanes (Sept 29, 2010)

  • Alexander Street Extension from I-4 north to SR 39 -- New 4 lane roadway (May 25, 2011)

  • I-75 from Fowler Avenue to SR 56 -- Widening to 6 lanes (June 22, 2011)

  • SR 574 from Highview Rd to Parsons Ave -- Widening to 4 lanes (Sept 28, 2011)


For more information or to provide a comment to the MPO Board, contact Wally Blain at 273-3774 x. 361 or  

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Join our mailing list MPO




In This Issue
Funding Four Projects
40th St Grand Opening
Veterans Widening
HART MetroRapid
USF Area Ped Safety Plan
Boyette Widening
FDOT Moves Ahead


Next Meeting

MPO : 5/3/11 @ 9:00am


BOCC Boardroom, 601 E Kennedy Blvd, 2nd Floor, Tampa



Useful Links

Hillsborough TIP Website


Tampa Bay Interstates


Hillsborough County Public Works Major Projects


City of Tampa Transportation


HART Construction Projects


Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority


Florida's Turnpike Enterprise