Issue: 5    


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

June 2012   


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Next 5 Years of TIP Projects Approved

TIP logo

On June 5th, the MPO approved the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the next 5 years, starting October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2017.  The TIP outlines the major transportation projects to be funded with State and Federal transportation funds.


Over the next five years, the MPO's local and state partners will spend more than $3 billion in State and Federal funds on new and better roads, bridges, and intersections, as well as sidewalks, bikeways, trails, buses and bus stops.   Major projects in the coming year include:

  • Widening and all-electronic toll collection on the Veteran's Expressway from Memorial Highway to Gunn Highway
  • Widening of I-275 from the Westshore business district to Downtown Tampa
  • Extension of the Downtown Riverwalk from MacDill Park to Kennedy Boulevard
  • Widening of US 301 from the Tampa Bay Bypass Canal to Fowler Avenue
  • Sidewalks on Dale Mabry Highway from Lakeview Drive to Van Dyke Road
  • Numerous resurfacing projects to maintain the existing roadways

Ongoing projects such as the new I-4 Selmon Crosstown Connector, widening Bruce B Downs Boulevard in New Tampa, East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (SR 574) in Valrico and Seffner, and pedestrian safety improvements on Fletcher Avenue will continue 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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HART to Convert to Clean Natural Gas

The  U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) a $2.3 million grant to fund a compressed natural gas fueling station and modifications to an existing maintenance facility for vans and buses.  The design and construction would take place in 2012 with the compressed natural gas fueling station scheduled for operation in 2013.


Natural gas costs about 20 to 25 percent less than diesel fuel, HART Chief Execu

Mayor Bob Buckhorn cuts ribbon at TIA's new CNG fueling station. HART's station will be similar. (Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Aviation Authority)

tive Philip Hale said.  "This award was the first step for HART to eventually transform its fleet to compressed natural gas-fueled vehicles, beginning with HART's vanpool," he said.  HART's project is one of 46 nationwide to share in $112 million in funding from the Federal Transit Administration's Clean Fuels and Transit Investment in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction grant programs.


For more information, contact Marcia Mejia at or 813/384-6610.


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Bayshore Boulevard Resurfacing

In an effort to showcase one of Tampa Bay's signature roadways in time for the Republican National Convention in August, Hillsborough County is resurfacing Bayshore Boulevard between Rome Avenue and Gandy Boulevard. This project, along with the recently reconstructed Platt Street Bridge and addition of bicycle lanes from the Davis Island Bridge to Rome Avenue, will improve a major transportation corridor and gateway into Downtown Tampa.  Using rBicyclist shadown on Bayshore Boulevard photo by David Lee Thompsoneserve funds and unspent money from another project, the County was able to quickly move and begin this project.  


Contact Eric Niedernhofer at 813/307-1764 or for more information.


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EPC to Monitor Roadside Air Quality

With over 35 million people in the United States living within 300 feet of a major road, concerns have grown about the health impacts of air pollutants associated with motor vehicles. Studies have shown that people who live, work, or attend school near major roads have increased health problems that may be related to air pollution from traffic.  Research is underway to better understand what type of pollutants are common near roadways, how people are exposed to them, the extent of exposure, and the type and severity of health effects.  In February 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new requirements for the monitoring network in support of a new air quality standard for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), requiring state and local air agencies to install monitoring stations at locations where peak hourly NO2 concentrations are expected to occur.


The Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) of Hillsborough County is participating in the national initiative to integrate individual pollutant monitoring networks to broaden the understanding of air quality conditions and pollutant interactions.  Starting next year, the EPC will use grant funds to establish a monitoring station next to I-275 near downtown Tampa.  The NO2 initiative will provide important scientific data and tools for federal, state and local governments and organizations to make decisions about future road projects and to address health concerns related to roadways.


For more information, contact Reggie Sanford at the EPC, 813/627-2600 x1254.


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Howard Frankland Bridge Replacement

The Florida Department of Transportation plans to replace the aging eastbound Howard Frankland Bridge.  A Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) Study is underway to consider environmental effects associated with the bridge replacement.  At the same time, a key element of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) Master Plan is to provide a transit connection across Upper Tampa Bay linking Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.  TBARTA, the Pinellas MPO and Hillsborough MPO have all identified the Howard Frankland Bridge (I-275/SR 93) corridor as the best option for the connection.

 Howard Frankland Bridge traffic

Therefore, FDOT is also studying the pros and cons of constructing a regional transit line in conjunction with the Howard Frankland Bridge replacement. While the primary purpose of the PD&E study is to examine replacement of the bridge without increasing capacity, the transit study will examine opportunities for building transit into the bridge replacement. The study will examine feasible alternatives to accommodate transit in the design of the replacement bridge, or if a new bridge exclusively for transit would be better. The study will be closely coordinated with the Pinellas County Alternatives Analysis, including feasible options, cost estimates, and engineering constraints.


For more information, visit FDOT District 7's Two Studies - One Bridge Crossing website.


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Commerce Park Blvd Widening

This month the City of Tampa will begin widening Commerce Park Boulevard to four lanes from the Community Park entrance to the northern entrance of Freedom High School.   Scheduled for completion in December, the widening will serve the New Tampa Bridge, which will open simultaneously with the completion of this project.  Based on the New Tampa Area Traffic Safety Study, which was completed in May 2010, this project will ease congestion during times of heaviest use, facilitate school activities and provide an alternative route for Bruce B Downs Boulevard.


The project will also include bicycle lanes, resurfacing of the existing lanes south to Tampa Palms Boulevard and the installation of a traffic signal at the northern entrance to Freedom High School.


Contact Sandra Piccirilli at or 813/635-3402 for more information.


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Traffic Signals Getting Smarter

One of the recommendations from the Hillsborough County's Transportation Task Force that is being implemented is an extensive Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS).  Using real-time traffic data from cameras to monitor congestion, it can detect incidents and make adjustments to signal timing to improve the flow of traffic.  Hillsborough County identified more than 50 roadway corridors for traffic signal improvements that would result in more vehicular capacity and reduced intersection delay.  The County evaluated the cost-benefit ratio for these improvements and found them to provide the greatest capacity increase relative to the cost of the investment.  Since the Transportation Task Force made its recommendations, the County has implemented the ATMS improvements on 17 corridors, including:

  • Bloomingdale Avenue from US 301 to Lithia Pinecrest Road
  • Linebaugh Avenue from Race Track Road to Dale Mabry Highway
  • Sheldon Road from Memorial Highway to South Mobley Road
  • SR 60 (Brandon Boulevard) from Orient Road to Turkey Creek Road

More information, contact Mike Flick at 813/307-1881 or



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ePublications of the Planning Commission, MPO & River Board
In This Issue
TIP Projects Approved
HART to Convert to Clean Natural Gas
Bayshore Boulevard Resurfacing
Howard Frankland Bridge Replacement
Commerce Park Blvd Widening
Traffic Signals Getting Smarter




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