Rubber Meets The Road header

 Issue: 2 


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

July 2011  


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Five Years' Worth of Projects:

An Annual Update   

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On June 14th, the MPO approved the Transportation Improvement Program for the next 5 years, effective October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2016. The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) outlines the major transportation projects to be funded with State and Federal transportation funds.  


As reported in our last issue, FDOT has been able to begin some projects sooner than anticipated.  These include widening I-275 north of Bearss, I-75 north of Fowler, SR 574 (M L King Jr Blvd) in the Mango/Seffner area, and Alexander Street Extension in Plant City. Other highlights of this TIP include new funding for:
  • Safety improvements on Fletcher Ave in the USF/North Tampa area
  • New HART flex route services
  • Design and right-of-way acquisition for widening Sam Allen Rd in Plant City
  • Pedestrian improvements on Busch Blvd in the southern Carrollwood/Forest Hills area
  • And numerous resurfacing projects to maintain the existing roadways.   

Ongoing projects such as widening Bruce B Downs Blvd, US 301, and I-275 between Downtown and Tampa Bay continue to be funded as well.  For a complete listing of the Transportation Improvement Program, visit the MPO's TIP Website, where you can view maps of funded projects or search our database by street name.  Or contact Wally Blain at 813/273-3774 x361 or

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Priorities for Spending -

What's Next On The List?  

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On August 2nd at 9 AM, the MPO will hold a public hearing to adopt priorities for the upcoming FY '13 - FY '17 Transportation Improvement Program.  The list of projects comes from the Long Range Transportation Plan, and is prioritized based on ten factors, the top three of which are crash reduction, congestion relief, and alternatives to driving alone.   Available funds will be allocated to these projects based on their priority and on their eligibility for various Federal and State funding categories.  


The highest priorities are to complete several projects which have already been started, such as those mentioned above, and to maintain basic bus and vanpool service.  Some up-and-coming priorities include:
  • An advanced traffic management system for the City of Tampa
  • Low-cost bicycle paths on various roads
  • Widening SR 60/ Adamo Dr west of I-75
  • Completing portions of the Downtown Riverwalk

A full list of the proposed priorities is available on the MPO's website.   Anyone wishing to comment on the priorities is encouraged to attend the public hearing.  Alternatively, comments can be submitted to MPO staff by contacting Wally Blain at 813/273-3774 x361 or


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New New Tampa Bridge

New Tampa Bridge

Beginning this summer, the City of Tampa will be constructing a new bridge over Interstate 75, with an anticipated opening in the summer of 2013.  The bridge will connect New Tampa Blvd with Commerce Park Blvd, providing a new route to Freedom High School from neighborhoods on the east side of I-75.  


The construction includes an 8-foot bike path and a 5-foot sidewalk along with two lanes of traffic.   Lighting, fencing and landscaping are also part of the project. 

For more information visit City of Tampa's website or contact the Tampa Transportation Division at 813/274-8333. 

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Plant City's Alexander St Extension

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Scheduled to start construction later this summer, the extension of Alexander St has been a much anticipated addition to the transportation network in Plant City.


Stretching from I-4 to Knights Griffin Rd this 3.2 mile extension will complete a 4-lane bypass on the west side of Plant City, creating a new primary route for trucks accessing Interstate 4. Reducing the truck traffic through Downtown Plant City will help to support redevelopment and to create the vision Plant City has for the Midtown Area - a district just south of Downtown - as a pedestrian friendly environment.

For more information on the Alexander St Extension contact Lynda Crescentini at or 813/975-6171.  To find out about the Plant City Midtown Redevelopment Plan visit the Plant City Website and select the Midtown Redevelopment Plan under Quick Links. 

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22nd St Enhancements Revitalize East Tampa

22nd Street Enhancements

The City of Tampa 22nd Street Enhancement Project gives a facelift to this urban corridor from 21st Ave to M L King Jr Blvd.  Largely funded through property tax revenues collected in the immediate area, the work includes upgraded traffic signals, sidewalks, medians, a 10-foot-wide trail on one side, landscaping, lighting, and improved bus stops and shelters.  


The first phase, from Lake Ave to M L King Jr Blvd, was completed in March 2011.   Phase II extends the enhancements south to 23rd Ave, where construction is scheduled to begin this fall.

Phase III will complete the project, extending south to 21st Ave.  It will include a roundabout at 23rd Ave, where 22nd St and 21st St become one-way roads. Phase III design is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year.

Calming traffic is an important part of this project.  Complaints of vehicles travelling at 70 miles per hour made the community feel unsafe.  The reconstructed road will have a 25 mile per hour speed limit.  And nationally, roundabouts have a proven track record of reducing speeds while keeping traffic moving.  The roundabout planned for 22nd St will be a simple design with only one lane, and will prevent the dangerous T-bone crashes that can occur at traffic signals.  

Noticeably changing the streetscape, this Enhancement Project is hoped to stimulate private reinvestment in both commercial and residential properties in the community.  Staff notes that four commercial strip properties have already undertaken fašade upgrades.

For more information, contact the City of Tampa Contracts Administration Department at 813/274-8456.

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Pennies for Potholes

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Your state of Florida gas taxes are maintaining major roads here in Hillsborough County.  Several projects are in development and on their way to construction in 2012:


Hillsborough Avenue, Orient Park area - This 2.6 mile project, from 56th St to US 301, will improve the condition of the roadway by milling and resurfacing.  Additional improvements include constructing sidewalk, replacing signs and pavement markings, and upgrading traffic signals.  All improvements are to be made within the existing right-of-way.  For more information contact FDOT's Mary Lou Godfrey, 813/975-6144, 


US 92 (Dale Mabry Highway), Westshore/ Stadium area - In this 3-mile project from Kennedy Blvd to Hillsborough Ave, the pavement of this 6-lane highway will be repaired.  Other features included in the project are new traffic signals and bike lanes.  For more information contact FDOT's Shirley McCrary Project Manager, 813/975-6166,


State Road 574 (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard), East Tampa - This project will include resurfacing the roadway, from Nebraska Ave to North 42nd St, for a net project length of 2.3 miles.   In addition, this project will include: upgrading the existing signals and signage; modifying some median openings; and reconstructing sidewalks and pedestrian curb ramps. For more information contact FDOT's Stephen Carroll, Project Manager, 813/975-6176,


State Road 580 (Busch Blvd), southern Carrollwood - Busch Blvd will be resurfaced from Dale Mabry Highway east to Armenia Ave. This section of roadway is a 4-lane, divided roadway with either 4 foot wide paved shoulders or curb and gutter. The resurfacing project includes the addition of sidewalks on both the north and south sides of the road.  Also included are minor drainage improvements, signage and pavement marking improvements, and traffic signal upgrades.  For more information contact FDOT's Kelli S. Peters, P.E., 813/975-6085,


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Port Grows Capacity And Jobs

Tampa Port Authority

Plans are moving forward for an innovative freight rail terminal at the Port of Tampa.  It's called the Tampa Gateway Rail Project and will handle two types of CSX freight trains by summer 2012.  One type of shipment will involve 90 - 100 car trains bringing ethanol from the Midwest to a blending facility at the port.  The other will be trains carrying double-stacked cargo containers filled with high value merchandise that is shipped into the port.  The $14 million project will give the Port of Tampa the capability to handle long trains hauling a single commodity - such as the ethanol carriers or double-stack cargo container cars - right at water's edge.

The new rail facility will divert 36,400 ethanol trucks from regional roads in 2012.  Cumulative savings by 2041 would amount to 2.3 million diverted trucks.  The project is expected to create between 77 and 82 terminal and rail jobs when it opens in 2012, with as many as 477 permanent jobs 30 years from now if cargo growth continues as projected.


Airport Upgrades Its Main Entrance

Tampa Aviation Authority

Tampa International Airport has undertaken a project to modernize the 40-year-old curbside facilities at ticketing and baggage claim. Planned improvements include implementation of a "zone" concept to make it easier to identify airlines.  The project will also replace or refurbish the roadways, curbside walkways, signs, the public address system, and the 22 check-in podiums at ticket level.  Lighting in all areas will be upgraded and improved.


Construction work will typically be accomplished overnight, beginning after the last arriving flight of the day on the baggage claim level and finishing before the first departing flight in the morning on the ticketing level.

The project budget is just over $11.6 million and is scheduled for completion in May 2012.  For more information please contact Brenda Geoghagan, Director of Public Affairs, at 813/870 - 8707.


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In This Issue
Five Years of Projects
Priorities for Spending
New New Tampa Bridge
Alexander St Extension
22nd St Enhancements
Pennies for Potholes
Port Expansion
Airport Upgrades


Next Meeting

TIP Public Hearing & MPO Board Meeting: 8/2/11 @ 9:00am


BOCC Boardroom,

601 E Kennedy Blvd,

2nd Floor, Downtown Tampa




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