Happy New Year! Hopefully everyone got the New Year off to a great start!
On Monday, 6 January 2014 the Selmon Crosstown Expressway to Interstate 4 connector opened for traffic. This highway is a much needed relief not only for the trucks that need direct access to the Port of Tampa but for the residents of the area surrounding 21st Street and 22nd Street in Tampa's Ybor City District that have had to put up with the trucks moving between Interstate 4 and the Port of Tampa. Despite the detours such as onto FL 60 from the Crosstown at various times during construction the end result is an accessible product that fits into the Tampa Bay region's highway puzzle.
Additionally, the Selmon Crosstown/Interstate 4 connector also provides for a hurricane evacuation route for those coming from St. Petersburg and southern Pinellas County. Now that it's 2014, in August it will be ten years since Hurricane Charley attempted to set its sights on the Tampa Bay region; remember the traffic backups if you were one of the folks that had to evacuate?
In fact, I took a ride on the newly opened Selmon to Interstate 4 connector the day it opened. I can tell you one thing: The connector allows you to transition from Interstate 4 to the Selmon Crosstown Expressway and vice versa seamlessly. It's well worth the toll!
In order to use the Selmon/Interstate 4 connector you will need a SunPass, as no cash tolls are collected as is the standard practice now on the Selmon Crosstown Expressway. If you don't have a SunPass, that's no problem; license plate readers mounted on the electronic toll gantry will read your license plate and send you a bill for the toll.
However, having the SunPass is the best: Not only you don't have to pay the $1.25 toll for toll-by-plate; you can also avoid the $2.50 administrative charge. The toll for the Selmon/Interstate 4 connector for those with a SunPass is only $1.00!
OK. While the new Selmon/Interstate 4 connector is open, you can only go a certain way from the Crosstown to Interstate 4 and vice versa. This blog entry will help you in which way you can go:
Eastbound Selmon Crosstown can use the connector to transition to eastbound Interstate 4.
Eastbound Interstate 4 can use the connector to transition to eastbound Selmon Crosstown using the local lanes only. There is no access to the express lanes on the Selmon Crosstown.
Westbound Selmon Crosstown can use the connector to transition to westbound Interstate 4 to Interstate 275, including Tampa International Airport. There is no access to the connector from the Selmon Crosstown's express lanes.
Westbound Interstate 4 can use the connector to transition to westbound Selmon Crosstown to downtown Tampa as well as to St. Petersburg via Gandy Blvd. (US 92).
This cannot be over-emphasized enough: There is no access to the Selmon/Interstate 4 connector from the Selmon Crosstown's express lanes. Access to the Selmon/Interstate 4 connector from the Selmon Crosstown is only from the Selmon Crosstown's local lanes.
If you haven't been out to check out the new Selmon/Interstate 4 connector, you owe it to yourself to check it out!