COMMUTER ALERT! Platt Street Bridge Construction Begins January 10!

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ALL PEOPLE WHO COMMUTE REGULARY BETWEEN SOUTH TAMPA & DOWNTOWN TAMPA (& POINTS EAST/NORTH)

On January 10, 2010, construction will begin on the Platt Street Bridge, a critical link into Downtown Tampa. The bridge is nearly 85 years old and has been in desperate need of rehabilitation, especially to the aging drawbridge components – which are now considered obsolete. The project is slated to be finished in spring of 2012. However, during this time, there will be lane closures along the bridge. At least one lane will be closed entirely, with other lanes to be closed intermittently during non-peak hours. Additionally, there will be a period of approximately 105 days by which the bridge will be closed completely to allow work on the drawbridge to commence. This period of complete closure will occur in the last stage of the bridge rehab probject.

ALTERNATE ROUTES
Drivers are strongly encouraged to find alternate routes. Such routes include the following:

*The Selmon-Crosstown Expressway: You can cross the Hillsborough River via the Selmon-Crosstown Expressway by entering at Plant Ave and then proceeding to your destination as normal. It is unclear if tolls at Plant Ave will be lifted during the period of complete closure of the Platt St Bridge, but unless FDOT notifies the public of any toll suspension, be sure you have your SunPass ready. There is a 50 cent toll at the Plant Ave entrance. Those who do not have a SunPass will be billed later for 75 cents.

*Kennedy Blvd, Cass St, or Laurel St: Although these bridges are somewhat further north, they provide a “free” connection into downtown. However, drivers will experience more congestion along these routes than normal. The lesser used Laurel St Bridge is also a good alternate.

*I-275: If you can avoid downtown altogether, then take I-275 to your destination. Be sure to allow extra time if your commute is during rush hour.

No matter what route you take, be sure to factor in extra time to get to your destination. If you typically leave at 7am for work, try leaving at 6:30 or 6:15am to compensate for additional travel time & road congestion.

HART Bus Routes will be on detour
During this period of construction, HART bus Routes 4 & 19 will be on detour from time to time if conditions do not allow normal passage of buses accross the Platt St Bridge. Buses will also be detoured during the period of complete closure (105 days) of the bridge. The detour route will be via Hyde Park/Plant Ave, Kennedy Blvd, Ashley Dr, & Whiting St. HART will notify patrons when these detours are in effect.

Project Information
Please go to this link for more information about the Platt St Bridge rehabilitation project.

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