THEA Installs Last Concrete Segment on the Selmon Extension
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) has installed the last concrete segment in the Selmon Extension. Installation of the segment marks the final major milestone in constructing the 1.9-mile toll lane and brings the project closer to completion. Once the final segment is placed and post-tensioned, the elevated roadway will be 80% complete, with an opening date set for Summer 2021. The segment was the last of the 744 segments to be put into place, with each segment weighing approximately 72 tons.
“Completion of the Selmon Extension will provide critical connectivity between Hillsborough and Pinellas County. The west extension is a 230 million dollar project, funded fully by toll revenues and bonds without using any taxpayer dollars, that has been 25 years in the making. Like our community, we are eager to complete construction to improve travel commutes in Tampa Bay,” says Joe Waggoner, CEO THEA.
Located in the median of Gandy Boulevard, the Selmon Extension will allow a choice for regional travelers: use Gandy Boulevard for local destinations or use the Selmon Extension for a direct connection (Eastbound) to the Selmon Expressway or Dale Mabry or (Westbound) to the Gandy Bridge. To maintain current access and visibility to businesses, the Selmon Extension is designed to limit its size while maximizing visibility.
The toll lane is 30 feet high – that’s approximately twice as high as a typical urban bridge with a sleek design that is intended to take the Extension out of a driver’s line of sight, thus allowing the driver to see businesses and turn lanes from both sides of Gandy Boulevard. By removing the “pass-through” traffic coming to and from the Gandy Bridge that has no destination in the Gandy corridor, the Selmon Extension allows for greater capacity on Gandy Boulevard for neighborhood traffic and customers of Gandy Boulevard corridor businesses.
The agency has incorporated the local business community and made efforts throughout the project to ease construction pains and meet their needs. The Selmon Extension will complete the link between the Selmon Expressway and the under-construction overpasses in Pinellas County that will link I-275 and the Gandy Bridge – providing connectivity from Brandon to the Beaches and back. It allows buses, commercial, and emergency vehicles that do not stop on Gandy Boulevard seamless regional connectivity.