The TPO will consider a set of 14 TIP Amendments at the Board meeting on October 13, 2021. These TIP amendments were requested by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for safety and operational improvements at the Downtown Interchange at I-275 and I-4, the Westshore Interchange Reconstruction and Traffic Congestion Management Technology deployments at various locations across the county. These amendments are major projects of regional significance and are identified in both the TIP Priority List and Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).
Downtown Interchange Safety & Operations Projects
The Downtown Interchange improvements include projects to improve the safety and operation of the interchange by reducing lane weaving and speeding, reducing congestion at the exits, and making it easier for vehicles to get to exit ramps. This project is expected to reduce fatal and serious injury crashes along the interchange by nearly half. It will also address the provision of traffic calming features at 14th and 15th St, noise barriers, lighting, signing, walk/ bike treatments, landscape and aesthetic improvements along the downtown interchange. The projects will affect the following turning movements and ramps at the interchange:
- Southbound I-275 to Eastbound I-4
- Westbound I-4 to Northbound I-275
- Westbound I-4 to Southbound I-275
Westshore Interchange Reconstruction
The Westshore Interchange Reconstruction project has been one of the region’s top priorities for many years and is listed among the TPO’s Major Projects for Economic Growth category. The reconstruction will help to relieve congestion at the interchange of I-275 and SR60 and reconnect the local streets with a safer pedestrian and bicycle network. Five of the 14 amendments will be for this preliminary phase of the interchange reconstruction, including the following projects:
- Intersection reconfiguration at Cypress and LaSalle Streets
- Turn lane improvements at Kennedy Blvd. and Memorial Highway
- Right lane addition and improvements at Boy Scout Blvd. and Lois Ave.
- Causeway seawall and trail construction on the southbound I-275/ Howard Frankland Bridge
- Addition of general purpose lane along westbound SR60 from Spruce Street to Memorial Highway
Traffic Congestion Management Technology
Another 5 of the 14 amendments will improve traffic congestion along several key corridors during and after interchange construction. Impacted roads include Florida and Nebraska Avenues from Kennedy Blvd to Bearss Ave, Kennedy Boulevard from Memorial Hwy to Ashley Dr, Boy Scout Blvd from the Airport Service Road to Dale Mabry Hwy, MLK Blvd from I-275 to I-4, and Hillsborough Avenue from Veterans Exwy to I-4. These projects are collectively known as Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) strategies that help to reduce delay along the corridors and improve travel time reliability through advanced live-monitoring technology. Specifically, the ICM projects will include traffic signal upgrades, new controllers, Bluetooth sensors, roadside units, advanced detection, dynamic message signs, CCTV, and additional fiber-optic connections all of which are projects identified under the Smart Cities funding category of the 2045 LRTP.