Each week News Channel 8’s Road Rants tackles your commute complaints. Often, multiple complaints come in about a single area. That’s the case with one constantly congested connector: I-75 at the Selmon Expressway.
Patrick emailed News Channel 8’s Road Rants reporter Meredyth Censullo and asked,
Are there any plans to relieve congestion on the westbound Selmon, coming from I-75, in the mornings? Traffic would improve significantly if drivers could enter the raised portion a mile sooner.
The Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority agrees the area needs to accomodate more traffic.
According to traffic-count data collected by the Florida Department of Transportation, an average of 12,000 vehicles traveled westbound on the Selmon Expressway’s Reversible Express Lanes each day in 2013, and increased to 17,000 vehicles daily in 2017.
THEA tells News Channel 8 it will probably begin a Project Design and Environment (PD&E) Study this summer. A PD&E Study examines the feasible options for roadway improvements, and their social, economic and environmental effects. Read more about the PD&E process at this link.
If a design option is feasible, and is approved by the Federal Highway Administration, a contractor will be hired for the job.
So, there might be plans to revamp the Selmon at I-75, but any improvements won’t be made anytime soon.
What can drivers do, then? The Selmon Expressway bogs down primarily between I-75 and 78th Street (lower level) between 7-9am. Accessing the lower level of the Selmon from 78th St. might save some time in the mornings. Plans are already in the works to revamp the exit from the Reversible Express Lanes (REL) at Meridian Street.
Send your Road Rants to Meredyth at email@example.com or on Facebook.