Innovative art and light makeover for I-275 underpasses

September 2017 – Along the western edge of the greater USF area, there are two I-275 underpasses that could make a stronger statement about entering Innovation Place (!p), a growing and creative district with tremendous potential.

In 2016, Hillsborough MPO began a collaboration with !p (formerly known as the Tampa Innovation District) and the City of Tampa to determine the feasibility of a gateway landscape design at the I-275 Busch and Fowler interchanges.  “Thank you for making this dream a real possibility. With these gateways, we can change the face of !p.” said Mark Sharpe, Chief Potential Officer and Executive Director of Innovation Place.

Public feedback pointed to creative lighting and art as the primary tools for transforming the underpasses into safe, iconic gateways. Shown here is an artist’s concept for the Fowler Ave interchange at night.  The next step is for the City of Tampa to apply to FDOT for a Community Aesthetic Features (CAF) permit. Comments can still be made on draft designs for the Innovation Gateway by emailing Lisa Silva.

The !p Gateway project is an exciting example of the various transportation and land use initiatives that the Hillsborough MPO and Planning Commission are working on to jumpstart revitalization of the greater USF area. In partnership with Hillsborough County, the Planning Commission has begun work on a Fowler Avenue Corridor Land Use and Design Study.

Meanwhile, the MPO is sponsoring an autonomous transit feasibility study on the USF campus.  Kicked off in August by the Center for Urban Transportation Research, it will demonstrate another potential transportation option for the !p.  Visit this page or contact Allison Yeh for more information.

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