TAMPA, Fla. (970 WFLA)- Public hearings on a proposed replacement of the northbound Howard Frankland Bridge are slated for this week in St. Petersburg and Tampa.
The sessions are scheduled for Tuesday at the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, 3201 Scherer Drive, St. Petersburg, and Thursday at the Tampa Marriott Westshore, 1001 N. West Shore Blvd., Tampa. On both nights, an open house begins at 5 p.m., with a formal presentations at 6 p.m.
The Florida Department of Transportation says information will be presented and public input will be accepted regarding the replacement. Recent studies, documents and maps will be available for review, and FDOT representatives will be available prior to and following the formal portions.
The four-lane span of northbound Interstate 275 actually runs east from Pinellas County to Hillsborough County. The bridge over Old Tampa Bay, which opened to traffic in 1959, is nearing the end of its serviceable life, and FDOT has determined it would be more efficient to replace it than maintain it.
Planners are studying three types of structures with expected completion between 2020 and 2025 and the costs depend on what kind of transit corridors might be included. FDOT says the price to replace just four lanes of roadway will be about $367 million. Express lanes and mass transit would add hundreds of millions to the price tag. FDOT has yet to secure fundinf got the project.