Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Releases Economic Impact Study

For Immediate Release         

Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Releases Economic Impact Study

Study finds capital infrastructure investments have created 13,200 new jobs and brought over $1.3 billion to the local economy.  

March 22, 2017 (Tampa, Fla.) – Today, The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) released a study outlining the agency’s economic impact on the Tampa Bay area. The report, conducted by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation (CUTR) for the fiscal year 2015, illustrates THEA’s wide-ranging economic contribution to the region including $1.3 billion towards the local economy and over 13,200 new jobs.

THEA CEO and Executive Director Joe Waggoner said of all the accomplishments during his tenure, maintaining a positive economic impact on the community is the most significant.

“In my nine years leading the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, we have taken over maintenance and operations of our roadways, implemented the first reversible express lanes in the world using all-electronic tolling, and consistently increased our bond rating – making the Authority more fiscally responsible than ever before,” he said. “However, nothing makes me happier and prouder than knowing the positive financial impact the Authority has had on our community.”

The report found THEA’s wide-ranging economic activity in the region creates new jobs, facilitates the transport of goods, increases property values in areas surrounding their roadways, and saves drivers time and money.  Since its inception, the Authority’s capital infrastructure investments have created 13,200 jobs and generated $1.2 billion in local gross domestic product.

“Authority operations provide a significant contribution toward area employment by supporting jobs in the most relevant industries of the region,” the report states.


The report boasts substantial impacts on urban mobility and business development, including $142 million savings in travel time and out-of-pocket costs and $90 million in accident-avoidance cost savings. Between 2006 and 2014, business activity along the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway demonstrated substantial growth relative to comparative areas, with 14 percent greater development in the number of business establishments and 5 percent higher employment growth. As of 2014, approximately 14,000 businesses were operating within one mile of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, representing 23.3 percent of workers within Hillsborough County.

Another comparative analysis showed that properties within one mile of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway had greater value than other areas in Hillsborough County. Single-family homes exhibit a 15 percent higher sale price, while commercial properties average a 16 percent higher sale price. The increased property value translates to additional tax revenue and an indication that occupants are willing to pay a premium for the amenity of being close to a major roadway.

“Accessibility improvements on the Selmon Expressway also increased tax revenue on commercial and residential properties by about $22.9 million, or 8.9 percent of the total estimated 2015 tax revenue of $290.8 million for the entire study area,” according to the report.


In addition to economic benefits, THEA’s Lee Roy Selmon Expressway has demonstrated positive environmental impacts. Using the expressway rather than a roadway with frequent stops reduces annual carbon dioxide emissions by 58,000 tons and saves $16.2 million in fuel and vehicle operating costs each year.


Read the complete report at:





About the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) is a user-financed public agency led by a Board of local citizens. Operating with no tax dollars, THEA develops and owns toll highways, including Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, as well as non-tolled roads, including Brandon Parkway and Meridian Avenue. THEA also owns the Selmon Greenway, a pedestrian and bicycle path through the heart of Tampa – under the shade of the Expressway! All tolls collected by THEA are reinvested back into projects in Hillsborough County. For more information, visit www.tampa-xway.com.


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