Hillsborough Ave. and Dale Mabry in line for a facelift

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The city of Tampa and the Florida Department of Transportation are teaming up to make a couple of the city’s major roadways a little prettier. The beautification project of parts of Hillsborough Avenue and Dale Mabry Highway are part of the ongoing Opportunity Corridors effort.

The Landscape on State Roadways grant program is funding improvements to aesthetics along Hillsborough Avenue from the Hillsborough River to I-275 and on Dale Mabry from Gandy Boulevard to MacDill Air Force Base.

“Just as we did throughout the urban core, we’re expanding our beautification efforts and working to transform our arterial roads to become the welcome signs they should be.  A community feels about itself the way it looks,” Mayor Bob Buckhorn said. “These roads are true gateways throughout our community.”

City officials hope the improvements will stimulate economic growth. The program, established in 2012, has already completed beautification projects along Bayshore Boulevard, Ashley Drive, Franklin Street, Doyle Carlton Drive, Union Station and Laurel Street. Projects have also been finished on the trolley line from downtown Tampa to Adamo Drive, Orange Avenue from Scott Street to Cass Street and the off ramps on Orange Avenue and Jefferson.

More than 700 trees were planted throughout the urban core. Lighting and irrigation have also been improved along those corridors.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.