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Hillsborough’s Selmon Expressway extension opens today

Bill DeYoung



Motorists can travel between Pinellas County and the city of Brandon with hitting a single stoplight. Photo: THEA.

The elevated, 9.1 mile western extension of Hillsborough County’s Selmon Expressway opens to traffic today, ending the Gandy Boulevard construction quagmire that began in late 2018.

Joe Waggoner, executive director of the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA), said in a prepared statement that the $230 million extension was the culmination of 25 years of planning. “THEA challenged our design-build team to come up with an innovative and aesthetically pleasing design that would minimize the negative effects of construction on the businesses along the Gandy corridor,” he said.

Constructed 30 feet above ground, the Selmon West Extension allows commuters direct access between Pinellas County, via Grandy Bridge, and the east Hillsborough city of Brandon.

“Our two areas are more connected than ever in one easy, reliable and fast trip,” announced Tampa mayor Jane Castor in  video statement. “And let’s not overlook the positive impact this project is having on our local Gandy Boulevard merchants, not to mention the economic impact it brings to our entire region.”

The cost to use the Extension is $0.95 with SunPass, or $1.31 with Toll-By-Plate billing. 

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