Progress continues on $596 million Gateway Expressway project

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The FDOT project is creating two new tolled roads in Pinellas County, and expanding I-275

The Gateway Expressway project, which began in August 2017, includes the construction of two new four-lane elevated tolled roadways, SR-686A and SR-690, and new toll lanes of I-275 south of the Howard Frankland Bridge.

On the northern end of the project, SR-686A will extend between the Bayside Bridge to just west of I-275. It will generally be constructed within the median of Roosevelt Boulevard, from the Bayside Bridge to Ulmerton Road, with a new interchange at Ulmerton, then will continue south until it merges with the future SR-690.

SR-690 is being constructed from US-19 to west of I-275. It will generally be located in the median of existing 118th Avenue North, and includes flyover bridges connecting to mainline US-19. It will be elevated over portions of 118th Avenue N, as well as 49th, 47th, 34th, and 28th streets north.

Tolling for SR-686A and SR-690 will be static, meaning the cost will remain the same at all hours. FDOT points out, the existing roadways will remain the same for drivers that do not want to pay tolls.

I-275 will be widened to add one toll lane in each direction next to the existing freeway lanes from south of Gandy Boulevard to 4th Street North. These lanes are being designed in preparation for future express lanes proposed for the Howard Frankland Bridge.

As of August 2019, the roadways that are most impacted are:
Roosevelt Boulevard (SR 686) between Ulmerton Road (SR 688) and 49th Street N. (adjacent to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport); Here, the same number of lanes are open on Roosevelt as pre-construction, but there are traffic shifts, barrier walls, barrels, signs, etc. that absolutely call for complete driver attention. Also in the area, work is currently focused on 49th Street N. (CR 611) between 145th Avenue N. and the Bayside Bridge; and on the Bayside Bridge at the connection to 49th Street N. and Roosevelt Boulevard.

On the southern end of the project, a portion of 118th Avenue N. has been permanently reduced to two lanes in each direction between 31st Court to west of 47th Street. As the project progresses, 118th Ave. will be reduced between 47th St. and US-19. By the project’s completion, 118th Ave. will have two lanes in each direction between 31st Court and US-19.

Work to widen I-275 is beginning, now that noise barrier walls are in place. Drivers should expect to see construction in the area soon.

According to FDOT, all of the roads listed above, plus the US-19 frontage roads between 110th Avenue N. and 126th Avenue N., have frequent closures overnight. FDOT says it’s likely that nighttime lane closures/detours will be required on Ulmerton Road at Roosevelt Boulevard (just south of the airport) when the bridge girders are placed over Ulmerton .

FDOT posts weekly road closure updates on its website. You can also read the fact sheet about the Gateway Expressway project, and see a 3D rendering of what the project will look like at this link.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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