TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – After more than two years of construction, the much-anticipated Selmon West Extension is ready for drivers.
Tampa city leaders say the Selmon Extension is going to free up some of the roadways on Gandy Boulevard, known for traffic back-ups.
City leaders hope the elevated toll lane will cut down commuters drive time between Brandon and Pinellas County. Commuters like Corey Hopkins are excited for the new development.
“I’m excited to have that kind of access to the downtown area and not have to fight all that traffic through here, especially with the development that’s gone on in South Tampa over the last five to ten years,” said resident Corey Hopkins.
But Phyllis Wong said she’s still not sure it’s enough to cut the traffic.
“I would’ve loved to see it be two lanes,” Wong said.
Even though she’s not a fan of the bridge at all, like many others who live in the area.
Community organizations like Sunshine Citizens Inc told 8 On Your Side they’ve been fighting the construction for quite some time.
They believe there’s poor pedestrian safety near the crosstown exits, building these expansions have historically displaced minorities, and local roads still need a lot of repairs.
Construction for the 1.9-mile toll lane began in late 2018. The project cost $230 million dollars.
Those using SunPass will be charged $0.95 to use the extension. It costs $1.31 for Toll-By-Plate billing.
The Selmon West Extension is fully funded by toll revenues and bonds instead of taxpayer dollars.