Florida is taking advantage of desolate roads to kick-start construction projects slated for the future, including the Howard Frankland Bridge project which affects Hillsborough and Pinellas counties’ traffic.
On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the acceleration of road construction in the state during a press conference, including the $864 million Howard Frankland Bridge project.
“We have roads that if you were to do a lot of construction on would cause massive traffic in normal situations, that may not be the case now so I have told the secretary of transportation here that they need to accelerate $2.1 billion in transportation projects,” DeSantis said. “You have the ability to operate a long time during the day, you can close down more lanes because the traffic isn’t what it was and really start to make progress on these key projects.”
He then stated they will accelerate the Howard Frankland Bridge project in Tampa Bay by almost four weeks. The project entails replacing the existing northbound bridge as it has reached the end of its serviceable life.
Florida Department of Transportation has been discussing plans for years to replace the aging northbound span of the bridge in 2020, which would result in a completely different flow of traffic into Tampa.
The new bridge will include four non-tolled/general use lanes, two tolled express lanes in both the north and southbound directions, and a 12-foot shared use path adjacent to the non-tolled/general use lanes. Once the new bridge is constructed, the existing northbound bridge will be removed.