The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), District Seven has initiated a Project Development & Environment (PD&E) Study for Interstate 275 (I-275) in Hillsborough County from north of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (SR 574) (MLK Boulevard) to north of Bearss Avenue (SR 678/CR 582), a distance of 9.57 miles. Pursuant to 23 United States Code (U.S.C.) 327 and the implementing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) executed on December 14, 2016, the FDOT has assumed Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act for highway projects on the State Highway System (SHS) and Local Agency Program (LAP) projects off the SHS. Within this corridor, FDOT is focusing on options that will provide improvements to I-275 North Corridor in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Next initiatives.
I-275 is a major north-south, Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) highway, designated as a critical evacuation route within the State of Florida. It provides an important link to the regional and statewide transportation network through connections to Interstate 4 (I-4) and Interstate 75 (I-75). The SIS is the state’s network of high priority facilities. Improvements to I-275, from north of MLK Boulevard to north of Bearss Avenue are critical to maintaining and improving access and capacity in the SIS, as well as enhancing mobility within the Tampa Bay region.
Project Purpose and Need
The purpose of the project is to improve congestion in the project area, to improve the corridor’s capacity during peak use periods, and to improve overall safety and operating conditions of the facility. Capacity improvements are needed along I-275 from north of MLK Boulevard to north of Bearss Avenue to accommodate projected population and employment growth and decrease the crash rates along this segment of I-275, which are higher than the statewide average.