South Tampa Neighbors Choose Pickleball Courts and Farmer’s Market in Addition to Bay to Bay Dog Park Design
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) is committed to improving all the underpasses as part of the scope of work for the South Selmon Capacity Project. And while all the underpasses will get significant makeovers as part of the project, the space at Bay to Bay Boulevard and MacDill Avenue has room for extra amenities.
In January, THEA launched a public input survey to determine how the neighborhood residents would like to utilize that space. In previous meetings with the Palma Ceia Neighborhood Association, THEA learned its neighbors wanted a dog park, but there was room for more.
The survey offered the public a chance to weigh in on voting options for the “Flexible Spaces” and “Active Spaces” that could be added to the park’s ultimate design. Over 1,200 surveys were completed, primarily from residents within the zip codes surrounding the footprint of the future park. They overwhelmingly requested pickleball courts for the “Active Space” and a farmer/craft market for the “Flexible Space”. Playground and food truck events also scored high on the survey.
“As a result of the data collected, our agency added a detailed amendment to the project’s Request to Proposal (RFP), ensuring that our residents and neighbors’ voices are heard and included in the design-build process. The community’s input helps our agency and the winning design-build firm transform this area into a community gathering space that is welcoming and enjoyable, all under the shade of the Selmon Expressway,” said Greg Slater, THEA Executive Director, and CEO.
Survey results have been shared with the shortlisted South Selmon Capacity Improvements Project’s design-build firms to ensure the community’s active involvement in the design process. Once a design is selected, THEA will release renderings to the public. The estimated $225 million project, including the Bay to Bay Underpass Improvement, is expected to be completed by Fall 2028. The underpass improvements, including the Bay to Bay underpass, will be completed toward the end of the project.
More on the South Selmon Capacity Improvement Project can be found on the website southselmoncapacity.com, including newsletter registration. The project area spans 4.5 miles from Himes Avenue to the Florida Avenue overpass, adding one lane in each direction to the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway’s existing right-of-way. Along with capacity improvements, THEA will construct sound walls along the entire route and, upon completion, will reimagine and activate the underpasses within the project scope.