DOT Gears Up for I-275 Connector Project

Motorists seeking the shortest route to the thriving 118th Avenue/28th Street business district that headquarters the popular Home Shopping Network, numerous offices, industrial parks, and other growing concerns, will have a new option in the not-too-distant future. According to Florida Department of Transportation Project Manager Steve Seachrist, a new 1.2-kilometer (.75 mi.) roadway will connect 28th Street to Interstate 275 just south of 118th Avenue on St. Petersburg’s north side.

“We’ll begin the letting process in June of this year,” Seachrist said. “At present, our plans call for construction to begin on the new access road in October, but that’s provided another project currently underway at the junction of the interstate and Roosevelt Boulevard is completed by then. We estimate that the new connector road will take just under 500 calendar days to construct.”

Seachrist said the new connector, which ultimately will intersect I-275 near the Roosevelt Interchange, measures 943 meters (1,031 yds.) in length and will feature ramps on and off 275. Estimated at $16.9 million, the connector road is actually the first phase of a larger project that will connect St. Petersburg’s 49th Street corridor to the bayside area.

“The property through which the new roadway will be built contains few obstacles at this point,” Seachrist noted. “It’s already pretty clear thanks to work by Pinellas County crews who have just finished constructing a box culvert on the site.” Nevertheless, Seachrist expects the area, a former landfill, to require extensive earthwork in order to accommodate the roadway, ponds, and embankments.

Construction companies interested in bidding on the connector road should contact the Department of Transportation’s Tallahassee offices, Seachrist said.

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