Located in the heart of Florida’s Tampa Bay area, the city of Tampa is a vibrant community boasting rich culture and history, diverse businesses, magnetic waterfront views and lively attractions that draw millions of visitors and thousands of new residents each year.
Tampa is the third most populous city in Florida, home to more than 380,000 residents, and it’s growing faster than ever. By 2045, Tampa’s population is projected to increase by more than 150,000 people.
Yet, the rising surge in population growth coupled with tourism is putting intense strain on Tampa’s roads and highways. To meet the mounting demands of current and future residents and visitors, Florida’s state government is investing in significant transportation projects to upgrade Tampa’s interstate system, including the Westshore Interchange.
The reconstruction of Tampa’s Westshore Interchange is part of a multi-year effort to better connect Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, alleviate traffic congestion and improve mobility. The Westshore district is the largest business district in Florida, featuring 4,000 establishments, 40 hotels and more than 250 restaurants. Due to its central location, the district provides access to three major interstates, residential neighborhoods and the Tampa International Airport.
The Westshore Interchange is one of Tampa’s most critical transportation links, where I-275, SR 60 and Veterans Expressway converge. With a swelling residential population and increased traffic to the airport, modernizing the city’s busiest interstate is vital not only to ensure the safe and efficient travel of daily commuters but also to support the region’s economic development.
Superior Construction and its joint-venture partner, The Lane Construction Corporation, have engaged WSP to serve as lead designer for the phased design-build (PDB) project. WSP is responsible for creating a sophisticated design that will add capacity in general-use and tolled express lanes. Key elements of the project include:
- Upgrades along the east end of I-275 at the Howard Frankland Bridge to Lois Avenue and north on State Road 60 extending to the Veterans Expressway
- Replacement of an existing loop ramp with a flyover from eastbound SR 60 and the airport to northbound I-275
- Construction of new direct connectors to and from Tampa International Airport
The PDB procurement for this project is the first of its kind for a major transportation initiative in Florida. As part of the PDB procurement, WSP is facilitating transformative collaboration between key stakeholders, including the owner and design-builder, to enable high-impact innovation and design optimization while achieving overall project objectives. Through this process, our team identified significant design concept modifications along with maintenance of traffic and other optimizations which are expected to yield more than $200 million in construction cost savings to the project.
The planning phase will be completed in early 2024, with construction set to start in 2024 and continue until 2031.