Saturday, June 23, 2007

East-West Connector in New Tampa

After months of little or no news about the New Tampa East-West Connector, connecting New Tampa to I-275, the Tampa Tribune reports that the Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority is negotiating cost cutting design changes to reduce the cost of the toll for this road.

With a projected toll of $2.75 for the 3 mile connector, it was widely speculated that the demand by commuters would be insufficient. So, the goal now is to try to narrow lane width, median width, and shoulder width to reduce the toll to $1.50. These changes will necessitate a reduction in the speed limit from 65 mph to 55 mph.

Optimistic projections for a construction start are now set for October of this year with an opening in 2010.

On another note, the Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority has now narrowed the list to 5 finalists in its search for an executive director.

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