Gateway Express Project In Florida Now Underway

Gateway Express Project In Florida Now Underway

Florida is expecting an upgrade to its traffic system.

It has been sealed by their government that there will be a big construction project that will take place in the Gateway area, which is located on the Pinellas County. This said project will start before 2019 ends. 

Accordingly, the construction will drastically change the landscape of the area where it is going to be implemented. Furthermore, it might affect driving the smoothness of the traffic and driving experience of commuters.

As of now, there are already people that are working on the site. Crews and workers are already visible in the area. They have already installed orange construction signs to warn the drivers that there will be some major work that will happen on the roads.

There are also temporary barriers that have been erected throughout the majority of the Gateway area.

Specifically, this major construction project is for the creation of the Gateway Expressway. This particular traffic amenity is envisioned to enable drivers and commuters to travel without the need for traffic signals between the routes of I-275 and US 19 and I-275 and Bayside Bridge. Furthermore, it can also help drivers to avoid congested streets on the surface by taking the express lanes. 

Here are the specific details of the project:

  • Construction of the Gateway Express, which establishes a smooth and speedy connection from US 19 to I-275 and from Bayside Bridge to I-275.
  • Widening of the I-275 route so that express tolled lanes will be created. One tolled road will be constructed per each direction. It should encompass from the southern portion of the Gandy Boulevard up to the 4th Street North.

Overall, the project developers said that this Gateway Express construction would dramatically overhaul the roadway system in the Gateway Area. They affirmed that it would improve the safety of the travelers while expanding the capacity and mobility of the lanes. 

Aside from the two primary components of the Gateway Express construction, the following will be added for further improvements.

  • Construction of SR 690 – This one will be a four-lane tolled expressway way that provides a connection from the US 19 to the west portion of the I-275. The tolling system is going to be static. Therefore, the cost will not change throughout the day.
  • Construction of SR 686A – It is a new four-lane tolled expressway. But this time, the SR 686A has an elevated design. It connects the Bayside Bridge (CR 611) to the west part of the I-275. Same as the SR 690, the SR 686A will have a static tolling system.
  • Reconstruction of the current Roosevelt Boulevard. Specifically, the renovation will take place on the Bayside Bridge area up to the Ulmerton Road. This should improve the accessibility and smoothness of this route.
  • Reconstruction of the existing sections of 118th Avenue North and US 19. In this project, they will include the development of flyover structures and additional ramps.
  • Various improvements to the ramps, interchanges, and intersections within the scope of the Gateway Express project.

Interestingly, it is not only the Gateway Area that benefits to this construction. The St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport will also be a recipient as well. Based on the information given by the Department of Transportation, these are the improvements that will take place within the periphery of the airport. 

  • Construction of a brand-new access lane to the airport that is parallel to the SR 686 route.
  • Construction of another intersection at the Terminal Boulevard.
  • Construction of a roadway that will connect the Fairchild Drive (northern portion of the current Airport Parkway signal) to the Westbound SR 686.

The Gateway Express Project is essential to all the commuters that traverse the Gateway area. After all, this particular place always experiences a high volume of traffic, especially during the day and rush hours. 

There have been developments in the Gateway area in the past. However, it proved that these efforts are not enough to solve the problem of vehicular congestion and traffic. 

The government of Florida is hopeful that with the project, the commuting experience in Pinellas County would improve. Furthermore, the project is expected to enhance the business sector within the area. With better vehicular movement, transactions will run a lot faster.

Inconveniences can be felt, but they will be just temporary. After the completion of the project, commuters will really feel the difference.