Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Triumphs with Selmon Extension Award Wins

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) is proud to announce that the Selmon West Extension has been honored with eight awards in 2021. The elevated 1.9-mile toll lane opened in April 2021, providing a vital connection for Hillsborough and Pinellas commuters. It has since been recognized for its design, function, and outreach efforts with local, national, and industry pinnacle honors. The bridge has won the following achievements:

 

  • Road & Bridges Top 10 Bridge in America
  • IBTTA Toll Excellence Award
  • FTBA Best in Construction, Expressway Authority Project of the Year
  • CMAA Florida Project Achievement Award in Transportation
  • ASBI Bridge of Excellence Award
  • Hillsborough Planning Commission Planning & Design Award
  • ACEC Florida Grand Engineering Excellence Award
  • GTSITE Project of the Year

 

Construction of the $230 million Selmon West Extension project began in late 2018 and opened to the public on the afternoon of April 19, 2021. The bridge utilizes an innovative design that has never been used before in the United States. The bridge’s distinctive fins provide a useful purpose by supporting the bridge deck, enabling longer span lengths between pier columns, and reducing height cross-section for the precast segments. While most bridges stand 15′ off the ground, business owners along Gandy Boulevard were concerned that their businesses’ sightline would be blocked by a bridge that stood only at 15′ tall. THEA listened to their concerns and built the Selmon Extension 30′ from the ground to the bottom of the bridge.

 

“This project has been 25 years in the making, and I am thrilled with the reception within our industry and beyond. THEA challenged our design-build team to develop an innovative and aesthetically pleasing design that would improve neighborhood traffic flow along the Gandy corridor and provide a seamless commute for pass-through traffic. These awards substantiate the extensive work we did to make this project a success,” said THEA Executive Director Joe Waggoner.

 

The Selmon West Extension offers drivers a choice, either stay on Gandy Boulevard for local destinations or use the Selmon West Extension for regional “pass-through” trips. The cost to use the Extension is $0.95 with SunPass or $1.31 with Toll-By-Plate billing. Toll revenues and bonds fully funded the Selmon West Extension and no taxpayer dollars were used.

 

The project is the second time in 15 years that THEA has built a first-of-its-kind facility in the United States. In 2006, THEA completed the Selmon Expressway’s Reversible Express Lanes (REL) with all-electronic tolling. The REL was the world’s first reversible, all-electronic, elevated express lane project.