TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Construction is underway on the Howard Frankland Bridge, one of the bridges that connects drivers to and from Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
The Florida Department of Transportation is working to rebuild the northbound bridge, which was originally constructed in 1959.
The new $865 million bridge was announced in 2017 and will help alleviate traffic construction once it is completed.
The new bridge will have a total of eight lanes, four general-purpose lanes and four tolled express lanes. Two express lanes will travel from St. Petersburg to Tampa and the other two will run from the Tampa side toward St. Petersburg.
The new bridge design will also include a bicycle/pedestrian trail that will connect Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
FDOT anticipates that the bridge will be completed in late 2025.
In the future, the bridge could accommodate light rail. Leaders said they would need to widen the existing southbound bridge and shift some of the travel lanes.
Once the new bridge is built, southbound traffic will move to the new bridge and northbound traffic will move to the existing southbound lanes.
The original northbound bridge will then be removed.