Good news for South Tampa drivers: Westshore Blvd. is back open

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -- South Tampa drivers can breathe a little easier and loosen the grip on the steering wheel. Westshore Blvd. has reopened at 6 a.m. Friday.

Drivers who usually used Westshore Blvd between West Bay Way Drive and Beachway Drive had to find alternate routes for more than a month. The alternate routes caused headaches for many drivers and frustration for neighbors in the area.

The construction is supposed to help the horrible South Tampa flooding issue, and is part of the Watrous Canal Rehabilitation Project.

The project was expected to go until July, but is opening Friday ahead of schedule.

Brad Baird, with the City of Tampa's Public Works and Utilities, says crews were replacing box culverts to allow for a larger capacity of water to run through the culverts. According to Baird, this should reduce flooding upstream past Manhattan Ave.

Don't get too excited though. Landscapers and pavers will still be working until mid-July. The city expects temporary lane closures but promises the road won't shut down completely again. The speed limit will drop from 30 to 25 mph during the remainder of construction.

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