Elevated toll roads being built for Tampa Bay’s $545M Gateway Expressway

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Updated Aug 4, 2018
Design concept of the Gateway Express U.S. 19 interchange.Design concept of the Gateway Express U.S. 19 interchange.

Residents in the Tampa Bay area are beginning to see signs of construction on the $545 million Gateway Expressway toll-road project.

The project will create two new four-lane elevated toll roads to connect U.S. 19 and Interstate 275 and reconfigure access to and from the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

I-275 will also be widened to add one toll lane in each direction next to the existing freeway lanes, FDOT says. The agency says the project will improve safety and traffic flow and add capacity. The current route connecting U.S. 19 and I-275 will remain a non-toll option for drivers.

This video illustrates the changes associated with the project.

The project is expected to be completed in late 2021.

Part of the expressway will generally be located in the median of the current 118th Avenue North and includes flyover bridges connecting to mainline U.S. 19, viaducts and ramps, FDOT says. Then from the Bayside Bridge to just west of I-275, the expressway will generally be constructed within the median of Roosevelt Boulevard and then eventually merge with the first section of the expressway via flyover bridges.

The expressway tolls will remain the same at all hours; however, the tolls on the widened I-275 will vary throughout the day based on traffic volumes. All tolls will be collected electronically with the SunPass prepaid toll program, FDOT says.

For some more design concepts of the project:

Design concept of the viaduct along 118th Avenue, which shows bridge beam erection.Design concept of the viaduct along 118th Avenue, which shows bridge beam erection. Design concept for a widened I-275.Design concept for a widened I-275.