Issue : 11  


Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) eNews 

January 2014     


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Runners celebrate opening of the Selmon/ I-4 Connector

Photo courtesy of Alexander English

On the last Saturday in December, about 1,000 runners braved cloudy weather to celebrate the soon-to-be opened Selmon/ Crosstown Connector.   Following a ribbon-cutting featuring Tampa Port Authority President Paul Anderson and Federal Highway Deputy. Administrator Greg Nadeau, runners completed a 5K run and enjoyed sweeping vistas of Tampa and McKay Bay from the new, elevated ramp system. 


The new $435 million connector is expected to open to traffic on January 6th. This toll road directly links the Selmon, I-4, and the Port of Tampa.  It is expected to divert port-related truck traffic away from surface streets in Ybor City.


For more information, contact John McShaffrey at 813/242-2462.


FDOT funds priorities for next 5 years  

FDOT Nebraska Ave repaving/sidewalk repair

FDOT presented its tentative list of projects to be funded over the next five years at a public hearing held on December 16th.  With the annual update of the Work Program this year, FDOT announced the advancement of several projects along with additional funding for several MPO priorities.


Most notable is the design and construction of the Howard Frankland Bridge reconstruction in fiscal year 2019.  This multi-million dollar project will combine replacing the northbound span of I-275 and consideration of a future transit connection across Old Tampa Bay.   


FDOT also added funding to reconfigure the SR60/ Memorial Highway interchange with I-275.  This project will connect the recently completed Tampa Airport Interchange, the widening of I-275 east to Downtown Tampa and the Howard Frankland Bridge reconstruction.  This project is a critical piece for the Westshore business district and the entire Tampa Bay Region.


Other priority projects to be funded in the next five years include advancing the Bruce B Downs Boulevard widening, additional bus replacements to maintain a reliable fleet, and several walk and bike priorities.


The FDOT Work Program is incorporated into the MPO's Transportation Improvement Program, which will take effect next October in fiscal year 2014.


The Work Program is on the MPO's agenda for January 7, 2014.  More information can be found on the MPO's website, including a full listing of projects in the program, or by contacting Wally Blain at 813/273-3774 x361.

Become a transportation advisor!  


The Hillsborough MPO currently has openings on its Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). CAC members are volunteers who meet monthly, normally on the 2nd Wednesday at 1:15 p.m., to provide citizen perspective on community needs while evaluating long-range transportation proposals and recommending solutions to the MPO Board.


The MPO CAC currently has openings for representatives of the Hispanic and African American communities, as well as persons under age 30, women, neighborhood organizations and the business community. There are also vacancies for citizen representatives on the Bicycle / Pedestrian Advisory Committee.


For more info, and to apply online, view the website (To apply, click on Join the CAC). 



Airport expansion features people-mover 


A consolidated rental car center, automated people mover and main terminal expansion are the cornerstones of the largest expansion in the history of Tampa International Airport.


The $943 million construction project is expected to create more than 9,000 jobs worth nearly $370 million. Design is scheduled to begin next year and construction is scheduled for completion in 2017.


"As a leading economic driver in this region, Tampa International Airport will continue to create jobs and impact as it grows and develops into an even greater asset to our community, passengers and visitors," Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano said.


The 1.3-mile people mover will provide easy access from the main terminal to the new rental car center, which will also include connections to regional transportation systems. In the future, the people mover could be extended to a multimodal transportation hub in the Westshore Business District.


For the airport, the project means less-congested roadways and curbsides, expanded rental car operations, additional parking and new revenue opportunities through concessions and real estate development around the rental car center.


Tampa International Airport currently serves nearly 17 million passengers each year.


View an animated rendering of the people mover.

For more information view the TIA Master Plan website or contact Janet Zink at



East Hillsborough Avenue Study recommends safety measures   


As a result of a county-wide review of severe crashes, the MPO recently studied East Hillsborough Avenue in more depth. Nearly half of all crashes in our county occur on roads like Hillsborough Avenue, major urban thoroughfares with many driveways and side streets. Crashes on these types of roads are more likely to result in serious injuries or even fatalities. For example, a one-mile stretch of E Hillsborough Avenue between Nebraska Avenue and 22nd Street accounted for 38 "severe injury" crashes over five years. 


Besides the huge benefit of a safer neighborhood, reducing crashes also cuts down on traffic delays.


Short and mid-term recommendations include:

  • Better marked crosswalks
  • Crosswalks spaced no more than 1/4 mile apart 
  • Shorter waits at traffic signals (reduced cycle lengths)
  • More time to use signalized crosswalks 
  • Bikeways on parallel streets 
  • Increased street lighting for better visibility
  • Street trees, which tend to reduce speeding


Longer-term recommendations include:

  • More turn lanes at the I-275 interchange
  • Consideration for converting a lane to use by buses and right-turning traffic


Implementing the recommendations will surely help residents and employees in this area safely get to transit stops and other destinations where people work, play, go to school or shop along East Hillsborough Ave.

For more information, visit the website or contact Gena Torres at 813/273-3774 x357.

Making our transportation system more resilient  


The Atlantic Hurricane season began on June 1st and as if on cue, Tropical Storm (TS) Andrea visited Tampa Bay on June 5th. The year before, TS Debby dumped nearly 20 inches of rain and exposed the vulnerability of Tampa Bay's transportation network to inundation. Flooding closed Bayshore Boulevard for several days and disrupted traffic between downtown Tampa, MacDill AFB, and Tampa General Hospital. These were minor storms. With no direct hurricane hit in over 90 years, this year by the Weather Channel named Tampa as the "most vulnerable and overdue" city for a direct hurricane hit.


Our transportation network is the key to economic vitality, quality of life, and emergency services in Hillsborough County. Understanding it's vulnerability to extreme weather is important to preparing for disruptions to the system.  Earlier this year, the Federal Highway Administration awarded a grant to the MPO, Planning Commission, Hillsborough County Public Works - Hazard Mitigation Section, University of South Florida, and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.  The grant is for a pilot project to assess the resiliency of our transportation system to extreme weather and climate impacts such as sea level rise, storm surge, and inland flooding.


The county's Local Mitigation Strategy Working Group is the steering committee for this project.  Last month, the group met and began to zero in on the most critical and vulnerable links in our transportation network. 


The goal of the project is to integrate climate risk and transportation resiliency into the planning process. The pilot project will Identify vulnerable and critical links in the transportation system and recommend measures to prevent, mitigate, or adapt to inundation. These measures will then be considered for funding in the Plan 2040 Transportation Update. The project is expected to be completed by late summer / early fall 2014.


For more information visit the website or contact Allison Yeh, 813/273-3774 x351.

County studies Big Bend Road widening & interchange modifications 


Hillsborough County is wrapping up recommendations for Big Bend Road and the I-75 Interchange. The evaluation of Big Bend Road, known as a Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study, proposes the six-laning of Big Bend Road between Covington Garden Drive and Simmons Loop Road.


Four specific solutions are also being proposed for the interchange at I-75:

  • Extending the southbound off ramp on I-75;
  • Adding a third southbound left turn lane from I-75 to Big Bend Road;
  • Removing the free-flow southbound to eastbound lane and constructing dual right turn lanes to reduce weaving traffic; and
  • Extending the northbound storage lanes at Big Bend Road to provide capacity for future traffic.

The County has tentatively scheduled a public hearing in January 2014.   


For more information, contact William Alford, Hillsborough County Project Manager, at 813/307-1920 or


In this Issue
Selmon Connector 5K
FDOT Work Program
Transportation Advisor
TIA people mover
E Hillsborough Avenue
Vulnerability Analysis
Big Bend Road


Public Participation Plan Update
View online &
send your comments to
Rich Clarendon 813/273-3774 x368
or make comments
at the MPO's meeting on  
Feb 4, 2014 @ 9 am
601 E Kennedy Boulevard
2nd floor 






Visit our display at:


Florida's largest Home Show

January 3- 5, 2014 
at the
Tampa Convention Center
Friday is FREE!

Read more about our partnership with Turner Expositions.  








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