Here’s a seem at Selmon extension right before it begins sweeping website traffic in excess of Gandy

George T. Taft

TAMPA — Commuters will quickly be in a position to push from the south conclusion of the Gandy Bridge to Brandon with out hitting a halt mild — as very long as they’re inclined to shell out a toll.



a train covered in snow: Construction is nearing completion on toll gates at the westbound entrance to the Selmon Extension, the 1.9-mile toll lanes running along the median of Gandy Boulevard in South Tampa.


© Douglas R. Clifford/Times/Tampa Bay Moments/TNS
Design is nearing completion on toll gates at the westbound entrance to the Selmon Extension, the 1.9-mile toll lanes functioning together the median of Gandy Boulevard in South Tampa.

The Selmon Extension, a 1.9-mile toll bridge developed in the median of Gandy Boulevard, is established to open up early this summer. Design managers hope it will be sooner, if function goes properly.

Tools, devices and cars dotted the unopened span of road Tuesday as crews labored to set the ending touches on the $230 million challenge.

The very last 72-ton concrete segment was installed in December, and the job is now about 90 to 95 percent complete, Cardno Job Administrator Matthew Kappler reported. Building crews will expend the next handful of months painting, putting in lights, landscaping, reconstructing the Gandy Boulevard median and repaving the two Gandy and West Shore boulevards.



a person walking down a street next to a car: In the shadow of the soaring new Selmon Extension, Cierra Cheek works to bring customers into Woodie's Wash Shack. The carwash is one of at least nine businesses to open along Gandy Boulevard since work started on the extension three years ago.


© Douglas R. Clifford/Instances/Tampa Bay Occasions/TNS
In the shadow of the soaring new Selmon Extension, Cierra Cheek will work to deliver customers into Woodie’s Wash Shack. The carwash is a person of at minimum nine enterprises to open up together Gandy Boulevard considering that operate begun on the extension 3 decades in the past.

The repaving by yourself will delight people touring the boulevards, Kappler explained.

“Drivers will see a major big difference there. It’ll make for a smoother trip.”

The extension, which back links the Gandy Bridge with the reworked Lee Roy Selmon Expressway entrance ramp at Dale Mabry Highway, will assist drivers bypass 3 stoplights at road level.



a close up of a logo: The most visual feature of the new Selmon Extension may be the triangular concrete support fins, painted blue and white as selected by the public.


© Douglas R. Clifford/Occasions/Tampa Bay Moments/TNS
The most visible feature of the new Selmon Extension could be the triangular concrete assist fins, painted blue and white as selected by the public.

It will price tag 94 cents to travel for people with Sunpass, $1.37 with toll-by-plate. The charge to travel the total duration of the expressway and extension: $4.07 with Sunpass and $5.22 with toll-by-plate.

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The Selmon Expressway carries about 100,000 automobiles a day and operates 14 miles now, from the corner of City Centre Boulevard and the Brandon Parkway to the corner of Gandy Boulevard and Dale Mabry.

The extension was paid out for with toll profits and bonds. That suggests the public is not supporting the price of the task with taxes, but by user charges like tolls that assistance finance the extension.

Toll gates bristling with cameras are beneath building where by the new concrete bridge satisfies the rebuilt interchange at Dale Mabry. A new ramp has been additional for these headed north on Dale Mabry to enter the extension and travel to St. Petersburg. And there will be a specified change lane on eastbound Gandy for motorists headed toward MacDill Air Drive Base. This stretch of road was infamous for backups and perilous merging.

For cars getting into the extension from the Gandy Bridge to the south, a selected lane will set them on the ramp, Kappler reported. It will operate at the very least a thousand toes, with striping and signage to manual drivers into the correct lane.

After on the extension, motorists will detect design characteristics which includes 27 triangular “fins” above the columns connecting the bridge to the ground. Each column and fin is painted with a cream-and-blue estuary pattern picked by a community vote.

The columns and fins will be outfitted with LED lights, comparable to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The colors are controlled at the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority business office in downtown Tampa and can be adjusted to highlight holiday seasons, results in or sports groups, Kappler claimed.



The most visual feature of the new Selmon Extension may be the triangular concrete support fins, to be painted blue and white as selected by the public.


© Douglas R. Clifford/Occasions/Tampa Bay Situations/TNS
The most visual element of the new Selmon Extension may possibly be the triangular concrete help fins, to be painted blue and white as chosen by the general public.

The bridge could be lit up in Buccaneer pink, for instance, the next time Tampa Bay’s NFL group plays in the Super Bowl.

A great deal has improved along the two-mile corridor since perform began a few a long time ago. Design crews hammered away from avenue level to 30 ft up even as new businesses moved in along Gandy Boulevard.

At minimum 9 new organizations have opened given that design commenced on the extension, such as Fifth-Third Bank, Woodie’s Wash Shack, Westshore Conditioning Center and Countrywide Nails.

The elevated toll street will consider some vehicles off Gandy, decreasing visitors flow that suppliers may well hope would provide in business. But Kappler stated he’s hoping the modify will give safer and simpler obtain for regional targeted visitors looking to visit outlets on Gandy.

“Now that some of the site visitors is up there, it’ll make it easier to obtain some of the enterprises,” Kappler stated. “You do not have to get worried about traffic constructing up powering you as you’re braking to turn in.”

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