Sunday, August 18, 2013

Interstate 275 Tampa Mainline Closure Alert

If your travels take you on Interstate 275 going by the Westshore Blvd. interchange (Exit 40A), you need to read this.  I have seen the variable message overhead signs letting motorists know of an upcoming temporary closure on Interstate 275 in Tampa.
According to Tampa Bay Interstates (the official source for Tampa Bay area interstate construction from the Florida DOT), the Interstate 275 mainline will be closed at Westshore Blvd. (Exit 40A) from 11:30 PM Tuesday evening, 20 August 2013 to 5:30 AM Wednesday morning, 21 August 2013.  The mainline closure is being done as part of the mega-reconstruction project taking place on Interstate 275 in Tampa from FL 60 to the Hillsborough River just west of the Ashley/Tampa/Scott interchange complex (Exit 44), which is supposed to be completed sometime in 2016.
So, what detour do you follow when the Interstate 275 mainline in Tampa is closed during the above hours?  Here is the detour you should follow, according to Tampa Bay Interstates:
Northbound Interstate 275:  You will be directed off at Exit 39 (FL 60). Use the Kennedy Blvd. exit, not the exit for Tampa International Airport.  Follow Kennedy Blvd. east to Westshore Blvd.  At Westshore Blvd. turn north and you can rejoin Interstate 275 northbound there.
If you are headed to Tampa International Airport from St. Petersburg, you should not be affected by the upcoming Interstate 275 mainline closure as all traffic will be diverted from the northbound Interstate 275 mainline to the Exit 39 collector-distributor ramp.  However, be sure to allow extra time and leave early, especially if you are headed to TIA to catch your flight.
Southbound Interstate 275:  You will be directed off at Exit 40A, Westshore Blvd.  Make a right at Westshore Blvd., then a left at Cypress Street (that's the first traffic signal after getting off of Interstate 275).  West on Cypress Street until you get to the overpass for FL 60.  Turn left after going under the overpass to rejoin Interstate 275 southbound.
Headed to Tampa International Airport from southbound Interstate 275 in Tampa:  You will be directed off at Exit 40A, Westshore Blvd. as mentioned previously.  Instead of going west on Cypress Street, proceed north on Westshore Blvd. until you get to Spruce Street (FL 616).  Left on Spruce Street, but be in your right lane after you make the turn.  Follow the overhead signage to Tampa International Airport.
If you are headed to Tampa International Airport to catch an early morning flight, plan ahead and leave early to account for any traffic delays you may encounter on the way.  Additionally, check with your airline for any specifics regarding your flight.
Like all major construction projects, sometimes there will be some inconveniences involved but in the end, we will have an Interstate 275 in the Tampa/St. Petersburg metropolitan area we can be proud of.

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