Meridian Parkway: A Vital Part of Downtown Tampa

Just a few years ago, Downtown Tampa was a place where people only came to for work. There were very few viable residential properties, limited green space, and most of the businesses existed only to support the commuting population.

Today, community leaders, real estate developers, and City officials have been working hard to change the landscape of Downtown Tampa; to make our city a network of neighborhoods that each have their own personality and charm.  The Expressway Authority, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the City and County transportation departments have worked to provide easy access for all residents, commuters and visitors.

Indeed, the revitalization on the east side of Downtown Tampa began when THEA opened the Reversible Express Lanes (REL) and used Meridian Avenue as its entrance and exit. Before THEA’s improvements, Meridian Avenue was a two lane road bordered by industrial buildings to the east and eight railroad tracks to the west. There was only one way to get from Meridian Avenue to Downtown Tampa, and that was to cross the asbestos and lead paint-contaminated bridge on Kennedy Boulevard.

Meridian Avenue, 1999

Meridian Avenue, 2016