Thursday, March 25, 2010

Interstate 275 Blooper in St. Petersburg

I know, it's been a while since I posted something new here at the Interstate 275 Florida Blog. However, I came across something during my everyday travels right after I had my trusty car washed which amounts to a Florida DOT blooper:

This picture was taken on southbound 4th Street North (FL 687) at 22nd Avenue North, which is not too far from downtown St. Petersburg. Look at the sign to the right. Is there something amiss here?

If you said "yes", you are right!

Recently 4th Street North underwent a project which entailed upgrading the traffic signals not only at 22nd Avenue North but 30th Avenue North from the old span wire traffic signals to the more modern and much better mast arm traffic signals. Anytime you have a project like this signage will end up getting replaced.

Apparently the Florida DOT - the proprietors of 4th Street North as it is part of FL 687 - made a mistake on the signage directing motorists to Interstate 275 by way of 22nd Avenue North. Instead, signage to Interstate 75 somehow made it into St. Petersburg!

Now for a brief history lesson on Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg in the vicinity of 38th Avenue North and 22nd Avenue North:

Back when Interstate 275 opened in the vicinity of 38th Avenue North (Exit 25) in the mid-1970's, it was originally signed as Interstate 75. By the time Interstate 275 was extended to 22nd Avenue North (Exit 24) in 1974, Interstate 75 was rerouted to the bypass east of Tampa as we know today; at the same time Interstate 75 in St. Petersburg became Interstate 275.

For more on the history of Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg, feel free to click on this link to go over to the Interstate 275 St. Petersburg introduction page over at

Perhaps the Florida DOT needs to change out this sign and replace it with the proper route number that we know here in St. Petersburg: The sign should read "To Interstate 275", not "To Interstate 75". Besides, erroneous signage can lead to motorist confusion.

After all, this is St. Petersburg, and Interstate 75 does not go into St. Petersburg. Interstate 275 serves not only St. Petersburg and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, but Tampa including downtown Tampa and the Howard Frankland Bridge as well.