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Hillsborough Planning Board to Consider Transportation Projects

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Among the proposed projects on the group’s five-year plan is the Tampa Bay Express.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – The board that oversees transportation in Hillsborough County is holding a public meeting to vote on a five-year plan for road construction and other projects.

Among those projects is the Tampa Bay Express, or Tampa Bay Next, which includes replacement of the Howard Frankland bridge and proposed express toll lanes from Lois to Willow Avenue.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting, which is open to the public, is 6 p.m. Tuesday (June 13) on the second floor of the Hillsborough County Center, 601 E Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa.

If you’re planning to speak in person at the public hearing, you can sign up from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the first-floor lobby of the county Ccnter. If you intend to transfer your minutes to another speaker, you must sign up together, notifying staff to obtain consecutive speaker numbers. No late sign ups or transfers will be honored.

If you are unable to attend in person, you can still participate:

* Attend online | Live streaming broadcast with live chatroom online at: HillsboroughMPO.org. MPO members will be able to view live chat.
* Email comments in advance to: mpo@plancom.org.
* Leave a voicemail message in advance at (813) 273-3774, ext. 369.
* Leave comments on Facebook in advance on the MPO’s Facebook Event Page.

Please note: Email, voicemail, and Facebook event posts received before noon Tuesday will be distributed to the MPO board before the public hearing. All comments received are public record.

At this public hearing, the MPO Board will consider adoption of the Transportation Improvement Program, a list of transportation projects in Hillsborough County to be funded over five years (Oct. 1, 2017 – Sept. 30, 2022), and a list of priorities to be considered for any funding that becomes available. Details and project design will be determined by the agency implementing the project, typically in a future year.

Projects with new funding this year include

* Improving bus service and replacing old vehicles
* Repaving roadways to preserve our system
* Improving walk/bike safety with new sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes
* Traffic signal upgrades
* State Road 60 widening between Valrico Road and Dover Road, $10 million added to fiscal year 2022 for right of way, construction beyond fiscal year 2022
* I-75 at Gibsonton Drive eastbound turn lane to northbound on ramp, $694,000 for design
* I-75 at Big Bend Rd extend southbound off-ramp lanes, $3 million for construction
* Tampa Bypass Canal Trail, $750,000 for project development and environment study
* Green Spine Cycle Track extension from Doyle Carlton Drive to Willow Avenue,  $544,000 for construction

Tampa Bay Express (TBX) express toll lanes on I-275 and I-4 (visit tampabaynext.com) project funding has been revised to include only:

* I-275 Howard Frankland Bridge Replacement 8 free lanes total plus express toll lanes, $25 million for design-build in Hillsborough
* I-275, Lois to Willow Ave (Segment 5) express toll lanes | $101M for design-build
* All other TBX segments: environmental impact studies underway, no construction funded through fiscal year 2022
* New funding for right of way from willing sellers at State Road 60 interchange
* TBX reserve box for projects to be determined, $158 million

Priority projects for future funding include

* Preserving the system – HART vehicle replacements and transit center maintenance
* Reducing crashes and vulnerability –  safety improvements on Busch, Hillsborough, Florida/Tampa, Kennedy, Channelside, Morris Bridge and others
* Managing congestion – turn lanes on Gibsonton, Alexander, Park; a short extension of Davis Road near US 301 and Harney
* Real choices when not driving –  HART Airporter Express, and trail projects in all jurisdictions
* Express toll lanes with express bus on I-275, I-4, and I-75
* Transit connection from downtown Tampa to Westshore intermodal center to airport – modern streetcar and/or people-mover extensions
* US 41 rail corridor joint use – add commuter rail service on CSX-owned freight rail corridor running north of downtown to the University of South Florida and Pasco near US 41
* US 41/50th Street/CSX/Causeway Boulevard – grade separated interchange and rail-crossing fly-over east of Port Tampa Bay
* I-75 Big Bend Road interchange| – major project at northbound on ramp

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Hillsborough Planning Board to Consider Transportation Projects
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Hillsborough Planning Board to Consider Transportation Projects
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Among the proposed projects on the group's five-year plan is the Tampa Bay Express.
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TB Reporter
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