THEA Turns 60
Since 1963, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) has been a vital part of our vibrant city, connecting us to our destinations with speed, convenience, and efficiency. This month we celebrate 60 years of progress and the bright future that lies ahead!
Created by the Florida State Legislature in 1963 as a state agency, THEA was commissioned to build and operate a toll-financed expressway system to benefit the region, which we know today as the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway. Opening in February 1976, the Expressway connected downtown Tampa with the southwest side of the city at Gandy Boulevard. From 1978 to August 1986, construction continued to expand the highway to connect South Tampa to Interstate 75 in Brandon, a span of 15 miles.
Over the years, THEA has proven to be more than just an expressway and tolling organization. THEA goes above and beyond when it comes to its community enhancement projects, community engagement, and transportation technology. The attention to detail and innovation that THEA puts at the forefront of all of our projects is what has led to our continued success.
Some standout projects that THEA is proud of include the Connected Vehicle Pilot, various community enhancements and beautifications, the Selmon Extension, REL Slip Ramps, and more. Each of these projects highlights our commitment to our community and driving Tampa forward.
Just as we have done for the first 60 years, THEA will continue to drive innovation into the future and continue our commitment to serving our customers and community while efficiently connecting people and places. Operating without tax dollars and investing 100% of our revenues back into the communities it serves, THEA will continue to achieve significant milestones. THEA will accomplish our objectives by partnering with the public to seek and implement cutting-edge transportation solutions that will help the region manage the tremendous growth it continues to experience.