TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The southbound lanes of the Howard Frankland Bridge are scheduled to close on Wednesday from 12:01 to 5 a.m.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation drivers will encounter a detour off I-275 at SR-60, exit 39. The closure is connected to ongoing work on the new lanes of the Howard Frankland.

“This project in size and scope is just a lot of work,” Conrad Campbell with FDOT said. He said the project is 60% complete.

“It’s a big project, over $800 million,” Campbell said. “So, what you see out here is a majority of the sub-structure or the pile work that is done. They’re starting to get up to where they’re building a super-structure or what you see out here, the columns or the bridge decks.”

Project leaders say work on the new bridge is at its peak, with 200 workers on the job. Campbell told 8 On Your Side their crews are on schedule, but unforeseen challenges could impede progress.

“This is a bridge that’s built in a marine environment, so, when we get these storms and fronts that come through, the rough weather inhibits the work that’s on the water,” he explained, “when the waves are high or there’s a lot of rain or lightning, that slows us down.”

On the current plan, leaders with FDOT expect the new lanes to open in 2025.

During Wednesday morning’s closure, drivers heading from Hillsborough County to Pinellas County can use the Gandy Bridge or the Courtney Campbell Causeway as an alternate route.

New Howard Frankland Bridge by the numbers:

  • $800 million project
  • 200 workers
  • 25-30 cranes
  • 80 barges
  • 3,000 piles, approximately
  • 3,000 columns, approximately
  • If you were to lay the columns or piles end-to-end the materials would stretch 50 miles