New Tampa Blvd. bridge could relieve congestion - WFLA News Channel 8

New Tampa Blvd. bridge could relieve congestion

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

New Tampa drivers are no strangers to construction. Good news though, another project is finished. The New Tampa Blvd. Bridge opens around 11 a.m. Wednesday. The 0.7 mile bridge spans over I75 and connects New Tampa Boulevard with Commerce Park Boulevard.

Khadija Bensalah works in New Tampa and says any traffic relief is welcome.

"I leave around five or six in the morning to go to work and it's so hectic," Bensalah said. "It's a great idea because of all the traffic."

The bridge, with bike and pedestrian access, provides an easier route to Liberty Elementary and Freedom High Schools for some. But the cut through goes right through a neighborhood.

"We had meetings with the people who live out there," Jean Duncan, Tampa Transportation Manager said. "We asked them for advice and took some of their suggestions."

Robert Simonelli plans to use the alternate to the I75 and Bruce B Downs interchange.

"I'm excited about it but I don't know how the people who live out there will feel," Simonelli said. "There will be new cars and a new traffic pattern."

Duncan says the road won't become a high speed cut through. The speed limit is set relatively low at 35. She says this project has been on the books since the 80s when city officials said the cut through would eventually be necessary to relieve New Tampa congestion. City Officials predict by 2025 14,000 cars will use the road per day.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn will cut the ribbon on the bridge Wednesday at 10:30 and the road will open shortly after that.

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