All of New Tampa is invited to celebrate the opening of the New Tampa Boulevard Bridge Feb. 27.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on the West Meadows side of the bridge at the intersection of Meadow Pine Drive and New Tampa Boulevard at 10:30 a.m.
“The New Tampa Boulevard Bridge has been eagerly anticipated, and when combined with the widening along Bruce B. Downs, it gives the residents of New Tampa the traffic relief they deserve,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn in a city press release. “The project gives motorists, pedestrians, and even first responders an alternative rout to take. Over the long term, the bridge and the convenience it provides to the surrounding neighborhoods will improve the quality of life for area residents.”
At the ceremony, Buckhorn will give remarks along with Mike Herr, the city’s administrator for Public Works and Utility Services (MC), and Regina Ramalheira, president of the New Tampa Chamber of Commerce.
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The 0.7-mile bridge is expected to open shortly after the ribbon cutting, according to the release. It spans over Interstate 75 and connects Commerce Park Boulevard in Tampa Palms with New Tampa Boulevard in West Meadows.
The bridge includes a 5-foot sidewalk on the south side and an 8-foot wide multi-use trail on the north side, the release states. The trail will allow neighborhood pedestrian and bicycle traffic to safely cross I-75 without using Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.
Bridge construction began in May 2011 with the anticipated completion date in May 2013. But the $12.8 million project moved quicker than expected, so the bridge is opening early.
The goal of the project is to ease New Tampa traffic issues.
“The New Tampa Boulevard Bridge gives motorists with local destinations an option other than traveling through the I-75/Bruce B. Downs interchange,” said Ali Glisson, the city’s public affairs director. “It is also an easterly/westerly connection between Bearss Avenue and SR 56, and will improve emergency access for the area.”
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