DeSantis announces improvements to Howard Frankland Bridge, other major roadways

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Governor Ron DeSantis traveled to Tampa Monday to talk about three major transportation projects.

The governor said the projects are part of a two billion dollar investment approved by the Florida State Legislature.

The Governor said the Howard Frankland Bridge, the Westshore interchange and the Downtown interchange will help improve transportation issues for the entire region.

“Currently drivers that use the downtown Tampa interchange experience significant backups and that’s really true no matter what time of the day it is,” DeSantis said.

For the workers on the projects, the new funds mean jobs.

“This is our livelihood, this is what we do. It means Job security for the workers, they hear there is more funding coming, they think I’ll be able to roll from this project onto another project and I’ll stay close to home,” Senior Project Engineer Marianne Brinson said.

Although the projects announced by DeSantis do include some changes to the I-4, I-275 connector, major improvements are not part of the plan.

Drivers like Raymond Braat said that area needs major work.

“It’s an absolute nightmare,” Braat said. “It’s a headache. I dread going up there every single time I have to go that way.”

The Governor says he isn’t sure if federal infrastructure improvement funds can be used for that project, but he says he will consider it.

“That’s just a reflection of, this is a part of the state, the I-4 corridor growing, growing very rapidly,” DeSantis said. “Look, it’s a great place to live, but clearly any infrastructure money that we get down to the extent that we have an ability to direct that, we are going to be looking very heavily at central Florida, particularly the Tampa Bay area but also Orlando.”

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