THEA Green Initiatives
Our agency has many efforts in place to ensure that sustainability and the environment are considered and prioritized. Below are a few of the steps we take to be environmentally conscious and put green initiatives in place:
According to the 2022 University of South Florida Center for Urban Transportation Research Economic Contribution of THEA to Hillsborough County’s Economy – 2022 Update report, “Exhaust air emissions cause damage to human health, visibility, materials, agriculture, and forests.” All-electronic tolling on the Selmon Expressway reduces travel time, lowers fuel consumption, and in turn, lowers emissions which are good for the health of the environment on a local and global scale. According to the 2022 Economic Report, over $8 million was saved in pollution emission costs. Additionally, over 17 million gallons in fuel were saved which equates to almost $40 million in fuel cost savings.
THEA cares about – and is graded on – keeping our roadway clean. On average, our crews collect more than three tons of trash monthly from the Selmon Expressway mainline, Reversible Express Lanes, and our other facilities from the Selmon Greenway to Meridian Avenue and the Brandon Parkway.
Solar Panels Run Toll Gantries
To promote more sustainable energy consumption, a solar array was installed that supports two of our toll gantries and has produced over 97,000 kWh of clean energy since its inception in late 2018. To date, this solar array has helped to offset the equivalent of 8,573 gallons of gasoline or powered the equivalent of 4,045 electric cars.
Repurposing Land Under the Expressway
The Selmon Greenway is a trail that runs underneath the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway through downtown Tampa. This trail puts underutilized land to good use, offering individuals a safe and sustainable option of transportation by encouraging walking, biking, and other multimodal options. Additionally, in more recent years, the Deputy John Kotfila, Jr. Memorial Dog Park was created. THEA repurposed this unused land and created a valuable neighborhood green space in the shade and cover of the Expressway, a big perk for humans and their dogs in the rainy months.
Preparing for More Electric Vehicles (EV)
As Florida strengthens its EV infrastructure, THEA is honored to play a role in improving mobility. THEA is involved in the ACES discussion (Automated, Connected, Electric, and Shared) with other industry leaders and collaborative partners to promote safety and mobility for the future of driving. The shift to EV takes all of us, so attentive planning and attention to detail for infrastructure investments will support the increase in demand. National, state, and local leaders are focused on work that will help the environment and transportation infrastructure in the years to come.