Issue: 3  


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

November 2011  


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FDOT & FTE Work Program & Upcoming Project Changes

Annually, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Florida's Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) develop their budget for transportation projects.  This budget, known as the Work Program, covers the upcoming Fiscal Year as well as anticipated project funding for the four following years. Below are the proposed changes to transportation projects included in the work program:



Moved Up
  • Dale Mabry Highway sidewalk construction work from Lakeview Drive to South of Van Dyke Road has been moved up from 2015 to 2013.
  • Tampa International Airport's Aviation Capacity Project, which includes infrastructure improvements and repairs, has been moved up from 2013 to 2012.
Pushed Back
  • Upper Tampa Bay Trail bike path construction has been pushed back from 2014 to 2017 due to changes in local funding.
  • On US 301, construction of additional lanes from Sun City Center Blvd to Balm Road has been delayed due to lack of local funding.
New Projects
  • On Bruce B Downs Blvd, construction of additional lanes from Palm Springs Blvd to Pebble Creek Dr ("Segments B and C") is currently underway. Construction of additional lanes from Bearss Ave to Palm Springs Blvd ("Segment A"), is scheduled to begin in 2015. Recent cost savings from the Segment B/C project could result in construction beginning as early as summer 2012.  Right-of-way acquisition from Pebble Creek Dr to County Line Rd ("Segment D") is funded in 2014.
  • US 301 will be widened south of Fowler Ave to the vicinity of the Tampa Bypass Canal, with construction now scheduled for 2013.
  • Bridge repair on Gandy Bridge is slated for 2013.
  • New through lanes on Adamo Drive on the west side Brandon are also planned. Construction has not been scheduled yet, but right of way will be acquired in 2015, between US 301 and Falkenburg Road.
  • Funding has been confirmed for the widening, of up to 8 lanes, of Veteran's Expressway between Memorial Highway and Van Dyke Road with construction slated in 2013 and 2014. 
For further information visit FDOT's work program website.

A summary presentation on projects in Hillsborough is posted on the MPO's website.


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78th Street/Harney Road Intersection Improvements

Hillsborough County will hold a public meeting on Monday, November 14 at 6:30 pm, at All People's Life Center, 6105 E. Sligh Ave,  to discuss proposed improvements to the intersection of 78th Street and Harney Road in northeastern Hillsborough County.


The proposed improvements include a new traffic signal, and safer, wheelchair-accessible crosswalks.  Construction is expected to begin in the Fall of 2012 at a cost of $330,000. Further improvements are planned for future years, including turn-lanes, lane re-configuration, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and speed limit changes.

County staff will be at the meeting, taking place to discuss the details of the project and answer any questions residents may have. For additional assistance, or for more information, please call the Public Works Department, at (813) 272-5275.


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I-75 Gets Special Attention Today and in the Coming Years

The Florida Department of Transportation is widening Interstate 75 from four to six/eight lanes from Fowler Avenue (Hillsborough County) to State Road 56 (Pasco County). When finished, there will be at least three through-lanes in each direction throughout the project, with auxiliary lanes near interchanges to improve traffic flow entering and exiting the highway. Combined with other ongoing work, it will also result in at least three through-lanes in each direction of I-75 throughout Hillsborough County.


Three new bridges will be constructed, including the replacement of the I-75 bridges over Bruce. B. Downs Boulevard and the westbound Fowler Avenue bridge over the Hillsborough River. Sixteen other bridges will be widened.  Project work will also include improvements at these interchanges: Fowler Avenue, Fletcher Avenue, Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, southbound I-75 at southbound I-275, and State Road 56.

On Fowler Avenue, the ramp from northbound I-75 to westbound Fowler Avenue will be widened to two lanes. The additional lanes will combine with existing lanes to form five lanes and extend across the new bridge over the Hillsborough River to River Hills Drive.

At Fletcher Avenue, northbound I-75 exit ramp will be widened to two lanes. This ramp will split with two turn lanes flowing freely onto westbound Fletcher Avenue and two left-turn lanes and a new signal to go east on Fletcher. At the new traffic signal, there will also be two turn lanes on eastbound Fletcher Avenue to the entrance ramp onto northbound I-75.

Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) construction is also a feature of the project. ITS devices, such as changeable message signs, traffic cameras, vehicle detection equipment and fiber optic cable will be installed and connected to the existing ITS network to allow traffic managers the ability to monitor traffic in real time. The information gathered through the network enables quicker response to emergencies and allows traffic information to be passed along to drivers so that they may make informed travel decisions and be alerted to conditions impacting traffic flow.

Longer term, major improvements at the I-75 interchange with SR 60/ Brandon Blvd are scheduled to be designed. This year's FDOT Work Program Update has also added bridge reconstruction work in 2015 and 2016 at the Alafia River and CSX railyard.

Visit for further information.


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Temple Terrace's Ongoing Transformation

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Temple Terrace residents are now able to enjoy the newly completed 56th Street improvements, between the Hillsborough River and 98th Street.  Included is a signature gateway tower, new landscaping, bus shelters, decorative street lights and pavers, and the burying of overhead utility and power lines.  These features draw attention to pedestrians on the sidewalks and crosswalks, creating a safer environment for walking through Temple Terrace's Downtown.

The theme will be continued on the cross-street of Temple Heights Road, where construction begins November 14.  On the west side of 56th Street, this project includes concrete sidewalks, pedestrian-scale lighting, landscaping, and a historic entry tower.  

On the east side of 56th, the Downtown Redevelopment is currently under construction.  The City has been working closely with private developer The Vlass Group to ensure the adjacent projects complement one another nicely. A new Main Street is slated to be open to the public by the end of November. Pedestrian-scale lighting, decorative pavers, landscaping and a park can be found along Main Street.


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Big Bend Road Planning For Capacity

While growth has slowed, Hillsborough County is still moving forward with infrastructure to support the growth of the Southshore community.  Existing schools on Big Bend Road along with the planned residential communities, shopping center, and medical facilities will need increased and better access, for automobile traffic and also for walking and cycling.    

Partnering with local developers and the Florida Department of Transportation, Hillsborough County has begun a study of widening Big Bend Road to 6 lanes in the vicinity of I-75, between Covington Garden Drive and Simmons Loop.  While the County is studying the widening of Big Bend Road, FDOT is studying changes to the interstate ramps at the interchange.  The current schedule for the Big Bend Road study is to have a preferred alternative identified as early as Summer 2012.  

For more information and to stay informed about this project at it moves forward, contact William Alford, Hillsborough County Project Manager, at 813.307.1920 or


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Expressway Widening Downtown

The Selmon Crosstown Expressway will see renovation and reconstruction from west of Morgan Street to east of 19th Street in Downtown Tampa. Bridge deck panels will be replaced. Roadway widening will take place in the eastbound direction from Washington Street to east of 19th Street; westbound from east of 19th Street to west of Morgan Street.



For approximately six months starting in early 2012, traffic will be reduced to a single lane in each direction on the west end of the project, around-the-clock. Nighttime closures will also be used throughout the project limits from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the westbound direction and 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the eastbound direction.  Parking lots under the Selmon Expressway will be closed periodically due to construction activities. Drivers will be alerted by the parking lot owners well in advance of the closures.


For more information contact John McShaffrey at 813-233-3837 or


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Median Changes on Florida Ave

At two intersections near the former Floriland Mall, a concrete median is proposed to be constructed, with a goal of reducing dangerous side-impact crashes.  Left turns from Florida Avenue (US 41) on to West Humphrey Street and West Floriland Avenue will still be allowed, but drivers on the side streets will be required to turn right onto Florida Ave.



The FDOT will hold a Virtual Public Hearing to afford affected property and business owners, interested persons, and organizations the opportunity to provide comments on these changes. This will be a live presentation on the internet, to be held on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, from 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Register here

Comments may also be emailed to: or mailed to: Florida Department of Transportation, District Seven, 11201 N. McKinley Drive, MS 7-600, ATTN: VPH #: 427145 -1, Tampa, Florida 33612.

All comments must be emailed or postmarked by November 28, 2011, to become part of the official public hearing record.

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Gornto Lake Road Extension

Just east of the Brandon Town Center mall, the extension of an existing road will provide traffic relief. Gornto Lake Road Extension is to be constructed from State Road 60 Brandon Boulevard to Town Center Boulevard, a distance of approximately half a mile, creating a continuous corridor from Brandon Boulevard to Lumsden Road. It is to be built with four lanes and a landscaped/grassed median, with bike lanes and six-foot-wide sidewalks.

This project also includes the construction of a signalized intersection at Gornto Lake Blvd and Town Center Blvd, with right and left turn lanes along Gornto Lake Blvd. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012 and last 18 months, at an estimated cost of $7,500,000.

For more information, contact Sam Halabi at 813-307-1786 or

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2012 Toll Rate Changes

The Florida Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) has announced it will adjust toll rates on all FDOT and Turnpike toll roads and bridges in Florida.  The SunPass toll rate has not had an increase since 1993, and funding for road improvements has not kept pace with demand for those improvements.  SunPass will continue to provide drivers with the lowest toll rate, at 25 cents less than cash.


Toll revenues collected on the Veterans Expressway are being used to move forward with the upcoming widening of the Expressway.  View the schedule of 2012 toll rates on the Veteran's Expressway and other tolled facilities around the state. For more information, please contact Mr. Chad Huff, FTE Public Information Officer, at 1-800-749-7453 or


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Port Authority Enhances Cruise Terminals

In preparation for the winter season of Holland America Line's sailings from the Port of Tampa, the Tampa Port Authority (TPA) completed enhancements at its Cruise Terminal 6, which will be the new home for the cruise line's 1,270-passenger Ryndam.


Terminal 6 underwent dock refurbishment, had a sleek, raised canopy added and a newly acquired passenger loading bridge put into place as well as an updated paint job in Holland America's blue-and-white signature colors. Cruise Terminal 2, the year-round home of two ships in Carnival Cruise Lines' fleet, has also been enhanced, with a new paint job, decorative flags, destination photos, furnishings, and restroom upgrades.

For more information visit the Tampa Port Authority's website or contact Andy Fobes.


In This Issue
FDOT Work Program
78th/Harney Public Meeting
I-75 Special Attention
Temple Terrace Transformation
Big Bend Road Capacity
Selmon Expressway Widening
Florida Median Changes
Gornto Lake Road Extension
2012 Toll Rate Changes
Port Authority Enhancements




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Useful Links

Hillsborough TIP Website


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HART Construction Projects


Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority


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