New Tampa Bridge Enhances Safety For Drivers, Walkers

New Tampa motorists and pedestrians will soon have an alternative route over I-75.

Connecting Commerce Park Boulevard in Tampa Palms with New Tampa Boulevard in West Meadows, the New Tampa Boulevard Bridge will provide an easterly and westerly connection between Bearss Avenue and S.R. 56.

The $12.8 million bridge, designed by Kisinger Campo & Associates and constructed by Prince Contracting, will open shortly after a ribbon cutting by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn on February 27th.

"The New Tampa Boulevard Bridge has been eagerly anticipated,'' Buckhorn says. "When combined with the widening along Bruce B. Downs, it will give residents of New Tampa the traffic relief they deserve.''

Giving motorists, pedestrians, first responders and New Tampa travelers an option other than traveling through the I-75/Bruce B. Downs interchange, construction began on the bridge in May 2011 and was not expected to see completion until July 2013.

Spanning a little less than one mile, the bridge includes a 5-foot sidewalk on the south side and an 8-foot wide multiuse trail on the north side, allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to safely cross the interstate without using the high-traffic and construction-filled Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.

Additionally, the bridge will improve emergency access for first responders in the area.

The bridge came in response to the New Tampa Area Traffic Safety Study where existing conditions on roadways in the area were evaluated. New Tampa Boulevard from Meadow Pine Drive to Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, Commerce Park Boulevard and Tampa Palms Boulevard West and East were included in the study, honing in on potential improvements to enhance the safety and traffic ease of the New Tampa transportation network.

"Over the long term, the bridge and the convenience it provides to the surrounding neighborhoods will improve the quality of life for area residents,'' Buckhorn says.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa
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