The Recommended Build Alternative associated with the I-275 from north of MLK Boulevard to north of Bearss Avenue PD&E study is the result of extensive public involvement efforts associated with the Tampa Bay Next initiative that is actively engaging local communities. As a result of the public outreach process, the recommended alternatives consist of a Build Alternative and a No-Build Alternative.
Recommended Build Alternative
The Recommended Build Alternative consists of adding one 12-foot wide general purpose lane (GPL) in each direction, providing noise walls and accommodating viable transit options. Interchange improvements may also be implemented as part of the project. These improvements would not require right-of-way acquisition on the ramps or along cross streets, except for Bearss Avenue. Minimal right-of-way may be required at the Bearss Avenue interchange which includes stormwater management. There are no other improvements proposed for this segment of I-275.
All improvements associated with the addition of the GPLs would take place within the existing right-of-way of I-275.
As part of the Recommended Build Alternative, improvements to I-275 will:
- Reduce congestion on the existing lanes of I-275 in the project corridor
- Reduce travel times
- Be consistent with local and regional transportation plans
The No-Build Alternative will remain a viable alternative throughout the PD&E Study process. It assumes that no improvements except routine maintenance would be made to I-275 within the project limits. The advantages of the No-Build Alternative include no new costs for design and construction, no effects to existing land uses or natural resources, and no disruption to the traveling public during the construction phase. However, the disadvantages of the No-Build Alternative are the project’s purpose and need would not be met, it would result in increased congestion and user cost, and the No-Build Alternative is not consistent with local plans.
Other Alternatives No Longer Under Consideration
The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will evaluate the boulevard concept as part of the Long Range Transportation Planning (LRTP) process, as it was determined by FDOT and the MPO that land use policy decisions, local transit investments, etc. should be addressed at the local level. While the Hillsborough MPO works with the community to determine a long-term vision for this corridor in the LRTP, FDOT is focusing on addressing the existing problems of safety, traffic operations, and congestion through improvements that will not preclude potential long-term projects.