On Monday, May 19, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx visited the I-275 widening project, located right in the heart of the Tampa Bay region. Standing atop a construction site that will soon become interstate, Secretary Foxx spoke on the local and national importance of projects such as the I-275 widening, citing the need for a strong American infrastructure. “These badly needed improvements to the major routes through Tampa and Ybor City will greatly improve the area’s ability to keep pace with the constant demands of a growing region,” Secretary Foxx said. Secretary Foxx was joined at the podium by fellow speakers FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad, FDOT District Seven Secretary Paul Steinman, U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
When completed, there will be four through-lanes on I-275 in each direction, a flatter roadway (will not have the steep humps at bridges over crossroads) to improve sight distance and decrease the chances of accidents, improved interchanges to help move traffic on and off I-275, and a wide median to decrease cost and public impact when future improvements are built. The I-275 widening project is part of the $1.8 billion TIS (Tampa Interstate Study), and this $216.7 million project to widen 4.2 miles of I-275 from downtown Tampa to just east of State Road 60 is scheduled to finish in fall 2016.