5K road race marks opening of Selmon/I-4 connector - WFLA News Channel 8

5K road race marks opening of Selmon/I-4 connector

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Runners began lining up early Saturday morning for the 5K road race. Runners began lining up early Saturday morning for the 5K road race.
Construction for the Selmon/I-4 Connector began in March 2010. Construction for the Selmon/I-4 Connector began in March 2010.
Runners of all ages took part in Saturday's 5K held to mark the grand opening of the connector. Runners of all ages took part in Saturday's 5K held to mark the grand opening of the connector.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Approximately 1,000 runners took part in a 5K road race Saturday morning to mark the opening of the Interstate 4-Selmon Connector.

The event began on the west side of South 20th St. – just south of the Selmon Expressway where the truck ramp from I-4 enters South 20th.

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After the race a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to mark the opening. Drivers will be able to use the new connector next week according to a release from the Florida Department of Transportation.

The 5K was sponsored by FDOT and the Port of Tampa. The Selmon Connector idea was conceived three decades ago and cost approximately $420 million to complete.

The new roadway will provide a hurricane evacuation route for Pinellas County residents using the Gandy Bridge and the Selmon Expressway by providing easier access to I-4 officials say. One of the biggest reasons for the Connector however, was to eliminate heavy truck traffic from Ybor City roads.

It should also shorten travel times from Tampa International Airport via the Howard Frankland Bridge and points north of Tampa due to an easier link to I-4.

In addition the port gains an important marketing tool to attract shippers. Once truckers reach the entry point to the Crosstown – not far from the port – they can reach the Northeastern part of the country without encountering one traffic signal.

Those who use the new toll road will have to pay between 50 cents and $1.25 depending on how far they travel on it.
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