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Update on Howard Frankland, Gateway Expressway

Veronica Brezina



An aerial of the Howard Frankland Bridge replacement project as of October 2022. All photos are from FDOT.

Cranes on barges can be seen as cars zip past the hundreds of workers constructing the new Howard Frankland Bridge that will link Tampa and St. Petersburg. 

The new $865 million bridge, expected to be completed in late 2025 or early 2026 (weather permitting), will have eight lanes: four will be general use lanes, allowing drivers to travel from Tampa to St. Petersburg, and four will be express lanes with two lanes from the St. Petersburg side toward Tampa and two lanes from the Tampa side toward St. Petersburg.

A bicycle/pedestrian pathway separated from the roadway will also be included. 

The existing southbound/westbound (Tampa-to-St. Petersburg) bridge will be converted to the new northbound/eastbound Interstate I-275 (St. Petersburg to Tampa).  

Construction alongside the existing Howard Frankland Bridge, which was built in the 1960s, started in late 2020. The existing bridge has reached its lifespan. Once the new bridge is fully constructed, the existing bridge will be demolished. 

The construction team for the bridge replacement is a joint venture between Atlanta-based contractor Archer Western Construction LLC, which is part of The Walsh Group, and the Evansville, Indiana-based civil group Traylor Bros. Inc.

A 274-member team can be seen working alongside the stretch of concrete daily with 28 cranes, 23 cranes on the water and 80 barges moving supplies, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. 

An aerial of construction underway for the new Howard Frankland Bridge. 

The local FDOT office shared the latest construction information as of December:

  • Approximately 76% of all pilings have been driven
  • 350 of the 549 bridge footings have been completed
  • 340 of the 549 bridge columns have been completed
  • 121 of the 226 bridge caps have been completed
  • 279 of the bridge superstructure beams have been placed

Gateway Expressway 

FDOT also shared an update on the $595 million Gateway Expressway, which will wrap up in late 2023. 

An aerial of the Gateway Expressway as of November 2022 from the north over I-275 at Roosevelt Boulevard. 

The Gateway Expressway, which is 90% complete, involves the construction of two new two-lane elevated tolled roadways that will provide connections between US Highway 19 and I-275, and the Bayside Bridge (north of 49th Street N.) and I-275.

An aerial, captured in November 2022, of the Gateway Expressway from the southwest at the reconstruction of the southbound I-275 bridge and ramp onto 4th Street N. 

According to FDOT, the project also includes: 

  • State Road 690: A new four-lane tolled expressway connection from US 19 to the west of I-275. The new roadway will be built in the median of existing 118th Avenue North. SR 690 will be elevated over portions of 118th Avenue North, 49th Street North, 47th Street North, 43rd Street North, 34th Street North, the ramp at 31st Court North, and 28th Street North.
  • SR 686A, a new four-lane elevated tolled expressway from the Bayside Bridge to west of I-275. It will be primarily built in the median of Roosevelt Boulevard between the Bayside Bridge and Ulmerton Road. An interchange at Ulmerton Road will be built as part of this project. The new roadway will continue south through the old Sunshine Speedway property until it merges with SR 690.

Also, I-275 will be widened to add a toll lane in each direction along the median next to the existing lanes from south of Gandy Boulevard to 4th Street North.

FDOT said the major undertakings include: 

  • A Roosevelt Boulevard/ 118th Avenue interchange at I-275.
  • Completing construction of managed lanes in median of I-275 between Gandy Blvd. and 4th Street N.
  • Bridges at US 19 interchange for new toll road.
  • Viaduct for new toll road over 118th Avenue N. at 49th Street.
  • Toll road construction along the Roosevelt Boulevard corridor in the median area near the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.
  • A southbound I-275 exit ramp bridge to 4th Street N.
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  1. Avatar


    January 4, 2023at1:22 pm

    kinda a poorly written article (90% complete, but there is nothing about what will open and when), with errors in content (e.g. it will be 12 lanes, with 4 common in each direction, not just two), and not a real progress update (e.g. does 2xx of 5xx mean that they are on time or behind?).

    ultimately, it was the squeeze at the airport exit / thru traffic that’s the biggest problem…when is that being addressed, plus that guy saying the squeeze to exit to SR60 that needs the attention

  2. Avatar


    December 22, 2022at9:30 pm

    Excited for this to all be done. 2017 was awhile ago

  3. Avatar

    Laura Monk

    December 22, 2022at5:13 pm

    I don’t understand why they have to demolish the northbound side of the bridge, can’t that be used for a pedestrian bridge? People can ride bicycles and mopeds etc. or just walk over it, also I don’t like the idea of them taking away a roadway, during hurricane evacuation we’re gonna need all the roadways we can get. If the bridge has truly reached its lifespan as they say, why is traffic still being allowed to use it now? Why couldn’t the existing northbound bridge be strengthened somehow?

  4. Avatar


    December 22, 2022at2:11 pm

    Great article. Informative and to the point. Much respect for allowing a comment section.

  5. Avatar

    Steven Gee

    December 22, 2022at1:55 pm

    I don’t see any additional lanes on the current 8 lane freeway bridge. All I see is that we are getting a 4 lane tollway and a 4 lane freeway which will be gridlock with all of the fixed income and paycheck to paycheck crowd being compressed into only 2 lanes with all of the slow trucks. But the Ferrari class who can afford the tolls will get the dream of zooming by us all with half the bridge dedicated to them. Thanks for nothing. I just see a failure here in proper planning. There should be only one lane as a designated tolled express lane in each direction.

  6. Avatar

    Charles Rampersaud

    December 21, 2022at5:04 pm

    I was traveling thru Tampa for 25 years with the traffic always back up, don’t know why Tampa doesn’t have a bypass like other big cities.

  7. Avatar

    Gena Mondello

    December 20, 2022at7:49 pm

    All of this construction has been the worst disgusting disaster of litter that is constantly getting into the Bay. I can’t imagine the walkway being infested with constant litter, overgrowth, mold because the FDOT doesn’t hire the right companies to maintain our roads/underpasses/exits. Cheap labor that do not like to do their job right. Our area is a constant litter problem and overgrowth. It’s a shame they also had to knock down our beautiful Welcome to St Pete sign and all the landscaping at the 4th St exit to which the exit ramp looks exactly the same minus the trees as well as the view going over the Howard Frankland is now blocked by the new expressway and it will be full of mold and litter quickly. Concrete world we have become. The construction crews on these projects are the sloppiest workers ever seen.

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    John Donovan

    December 20, 2022at6:26 pm

    The proper naming of interstate roadways is that odd numbers are north-south routes and even numbers are east-west. FL uses similar naming convention for state routes. What we are seeing and soon will be experiencing is a world class engineering marvel.

  9. Avatar

    Paul Hughes

    December 20, 2022at11:09 am

    Hi Al, I read your comment, I have a little experiential historical context to share… originally, what is today the northbound (STP -> TPA) span, was the *only* span, hosting 2 lanes of traffic in each direction separated by an approx 3′ concrete barrier wall topped by, get this, a chain link fence. Very narrow, no emergency lanes. That span was built in the 1960s.

    Then in early 1990s they built what is today the southbound span (TPA -> STP). When completed, for a while, *it* hosted all traffic in both directions, while they removed the barriers and chain link fence from the original, graded the roadway and prepped it to host unidirectional traffic.

    It’s that first span, what is today the NB span, that is 60 years old and at or beyond its expected lifespan. That is the one they will demolish. Then *presumably*, in 30 years’ time when the *second* span reaches its lifespan, its replacement might be built where today’s NB span stands, who knows.

    Probably more than you asked for, but someone might find it interesting and/or useful.

  10. Avatar

    Paul Hughes

    December 20, 2022at11:04 am

    Any word on when the 275 SB to 4th Street exit/bridge will be open? Seems like it’s extremely close to completion.

  11. Avatar

    Al Canino

    December 19, 2022at10:41 pm

    I’m still puzzled why they need to demolish the one bridge over the bay.
    And which one are they going to tare down??
    The northbound section or the southbound section???
    Does any of this correct the mistake of the new and Still a Single.Lane Exit from northbound 275 towards rte 60 and the airport??
    I just know these engineers always never see it thru.
    Replace the elevated single.lane.e it with a new single lane exit, SHOULD’VE BEEN A LANE EXIT!!!!!

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