We have commissioned artwork and murals, worked with neighborhood associations on underpass beautification projects, provided gateways, created an urban green spine in Downtown Tampa with pocket parks, and lit our bridges with vibrant colors for a dramatic illuminated display.
THEA is committed to safety for all modes of transportation and is a collaborative partner in helping the City of Tampa achieve its Vision Zero goals.
THEA initiated multiple project-specific safety enhancements aiming to reduce backups, improve safety and mobility, and increase pedestrian connectivity making Tampa a safer and smarter city to live in. It is important to mention that our organization was the first transportation agency to implement all-electronic tolling to further the Vision Zero goals by helping to maintain adequate traffic flows and keeping cars off neighborhood roads like Bayshore and Bay to Bay Boulevards.
We will continue to strive toward a strategy that will help eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all Tampa Bay residents.
To address the increasing need for parking options in Palma Ceia, THEA partnered with the Palma Ceia Homeowners Association to improve the parking lot under the Selmon Expressway Bay to Bay overpass on the north side of Bay to Bay Boulevard.
Part of the Hyde Park charm is the walkability of the neighborhood. We worked with neighborhood partners to improve the aesthetics of the Swann Avenue underpass as this area is on the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare. Our aim was to improve walkability and increase the appeal of a walk along Swann Avenue.
Working with the City of Tampa, the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, the Historic Hyde Park Preservation Society, and individual donors, we formed a plan to beautify the area and keep up the maintenance. We contributed to a $250,000 landscaping makeover that brought better walkways, improved lighting, and fresh paint.
After listening to community residents’ concerns, we worked with the Neighborhood Association to enhance the underpass along Morrison Avenue. The goal was to maket it greener, more appealing, and a friendlier path for walking. Our team of designers met with the Neighborhood Association and crafted a plan that included landscape design, a brick entryway on both sides of the road with pineapple tops, and a welcoming sign.
The Underpass at Bay-to-Bay Boulevard will be completely reenvisioned with a community-driven design that will include a dog park. This project will be built after the South Selmon Capacity Project is completed.
Lights on Tampa
THEA partnered with the City of Tampa to light the Selmon Expressway bridge over the Hillsborough River in downtown. The agency began the project in August 2020 and spent roughly $8.5 million to make an aesthetic upgrade to the Selmon Extension.
The LED lights are wirelessly connected so the color can be programmed to fit a variety of occasions.
THEA is an agency committed to the progress and future of the Tampa Bay region. Along with using our toll revenues to provide our region with a transportation system that provides regional connectivity to our residents and visitors, we also partner with community organizations for beautification projects that activate urban spaces with public art.
Located at 124 S Franklin Street in Downtown Tampa, the Frames on Franklin artwork on the wall of the Selmon Expressway is a part of the Downtown Partnership Beautification Program, which installed images from the same series of artwork onto traffic signal boxes throughout downtown Tampa. The vibrant, poster-style artwork was created by artist Tim Boatright, a Tampa native, and was inspired by vintage travel posters, cigar box art, and fruit crate labels – all of which are important parts of Tampa’s rich history.
Boatright's goal was to capture and celebrate Tampathrough six city icons: the Tampa Theatre, the Port of Tampa, Tampa City Hall, the Tampa Riverwalk, the University of Tampa, and the Floridan Hotel.
THEA installed Frames on Franklin in May 2014 working with the Downtown Partnership, City of Tampa Art Programs, and the Tampa Convention Center, to enhance this heavily trafficked area with public art that celebrates the city.
Brandon Tower was an important aesthetic consideration when THEA decided to build Brandon Parkway, a three-mile toll-free parkway that feeds traffic on and off the Selmon Expressway’s Reversible Express Lanes (REL).
Seventeen feet tall and six feet wide, Brandon Tower was brought to the Brandon community in partnership with the Brandon Fine Arts Council and the Brandon Chamber of Commerce. This public art is a great example of how THEA actives spaces to improve safety and enhance community.
We commissioned the renowned local artist, Ales “Bask” Hostomsky, to create the mural located under the shade of the Selmon Expressway which enhances the experience of our award-winning pocket park, the Deputy John Kotfila Memorial Dog Park. Thousands of people come downtown with their furry friends to play at the park every week. The mural’s message,“Play Nice Tampa”, is themed around the element of getting downtown with your pups and neighbors. . With Play Nice Tampa, you will see the artist’s multi-layered signature technique and find a bold mural that can be viewed in parts or as a whole with walls and columns making a broad, sweeping expression of art.
We chose to name our property, the Selmon Expressway, after Lee Roy Selmon and are honored to pay tribute to a man who was so deeply admired and respected in our community. After seeing Joel Randell’s bronze sculpture of Perry Harvey Sr. at the Perry Harvey , Sr. Park in downtown Tampa, we knew Randell was the right artist to capture the essence of Selmon . Being from Oklahoma, Randell had been a football fan of Lee Roy Selmon and was well aware of the family legacy at the University of Oklahoma. Selmon is regarded as one of the University’s all-time football greats.
With input from Mrs. Selmon, we worked with Randell to design a statue that would reflect a man who was so much more than just a football legend. He was a family man, a businessman, a leader, and a mentor at the University of South Florida, and a friend to all.
The statue’s permanent home is along the Selmon Greenway on the corner of Florida Avenue and Brorein Avenue. It stands 8 feet tall and is built of a “heroic scale” to commemorate a man who was larger than life. As represented in the statue, Lee Roy has a firm, bold stance and strong stature with a kind expression on his face. His left-hand makes the USF Bulls gesture while his right-hand rests on his hip in a characteristic stance. His business-casual outfit reflects the different aspects of his life, and he wears his #63 jersey from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Randell sculpts oil-based clay into a pre-designed model that is taken to a foundry for casting. The statue is 800 pounds of hollowed bronze and a powerful tribute to a man that was loved, respected, and touched so many lives. He was a true inspiration in what it means to live a good life.
Commissioned by the City of Tampa and funded in part by the 2012 Republican National Host Committee, Tampa Together is an aluminum and stainless-steel sculpture by world-renowned glass artist, Catherine Woods. Located in a pocket park along the Selmon Greenway, Tampa Together recognizes and honors the diversity of Tampa’s different neighborhoods and communities. The piece celebrates Tampa’s diverse citizenry and reminds us that we can do all things as a city when we work together. Taking into consideration the personality of Tampa’s downtown, Tampa Together transforms the spirit of the city into an iconic statement that reflects a universal human experience. The voting button celebrates the democratic process and commemorates the City of Tampa hosting the 2012 Republican National Convention.
APPLY FOR THEA'S BEAUTIFICATION GRANT
As a local tolling agency of the state, THEA reinvests all the toll revenue in our community to improve safety and enhance neighborhoods. Not only do we invest in innovation that makes the roads we drive safer and spearhead projects to connect communities, but we also activate spaces near the Selmon Expressway underpasses with our Beautification Grants.
Here is how to get started:
Neighborhood Association decides on a project and a point of contact
THEA asks for a partnership with the Neighborhood Association
Neighborhood submits project details to THEA with a $500 (non-refundable) application fee
THEA and the Neighborhood Association meet to discuss project
THEA does preliminary work to determine project feasibility & cost
If THEA determines the project can go forward, the project is put into the work program – year to be determined by THEA financial constraints