If you’ve been on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway virtually anywhere East of Downtown Tampa in the past year or so, you’ve probably seen the massive construction taking place all around it.
These massive pillars and unfinished stretches of elevated highway will eventually come together to form the Interstate 4 – Selmon Expressway Connector. The connector will work as a limited-access toll road which will help commercial traffic shuttle hazardous cargo from historic Ybor City straight to the Port of Tampa amongst other things.
The Interstate 4 – Selmon Expressway Connector is sponsored by a partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Florida’s Turnpike, and the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA).
When all is said and done, the project will boast a $487 million price tag. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 gave THEA of $105 million allowing construction to begin in March of 2010. The connector is expected to be finished as early as 2013, but officials say 2014 is a safer projection. $1 tolls will eventually recoup the costs of the project.
The connector will be located almost directly above 31st street between the Selmon Expressway and I-4.
What do you think, Tampa? Would you use the connector? Smart move? Waste of money?