Pinellas County commissioners unanimously agreed Tuesday to sign an agreement with the state Department of Transportation for a project designed to improve transportation in the Gateway area.
“It’s going to greatly improve transportation in mid-county,” Commissioner Karen Seel said. “Hooray.”
Commissioner Dave Eggers agreed, saying, “This is truly an exciting day.”
Seel “enthusiastically” made the motion to accept the deal.
The Gateway Expressway has been under development for 15 to 20 years, officials said. Construction is expected to cost about $412 million. Pinellas County will provide about $55 million of that funding. Construction is projected to start in the summer of 2017 and be finished in June 2021.
Part of the Gateway Express project will begin on the south side of the Bayside Bridge and link up with 118th Avenue N. Another portion will begin at U.S. 19 and 118th. Yet another part will affect I-275 from Gandy to the Howard Frankland Bridge.
When complete, portions of the roadway will have tolls, some variable and some static. But there will also be non-tolled lanes. Other lanes will be elevated although street level lanes will also be maintained.
The Gateway Express is not a part of the Tampa Bay Express project, but it is designed to link to that and other road improvements.
The FDOT has posted a video showing the project on the department’s YouTube channel here.