By now most of you are getting used to the new traffic pattern on southbound Interstate 275 in Tampa as you leave downtown Tampa. This is part of a major project that has just got underway that will transform Interstate 275 from downtown Tampa at the Hillsborough River to the FL 60/Tampa Airport exit (Exit 39). The new northbound lanes of Interstate 275 in Tampa that you have been driving on for quite some time now is a preview of what's to come; believe me, it will be a better improvement once it's all said and done.
First, let's start southbound on Interstate 275 coming out of downtown Tampa at the Armenia/Howard Avenue exit (Exit 42). There used to be the long exit ramp that serviced both Armenia/Howard Avenues (Exit 42) as well as Himes Avenue (Exit 41C), but this long exit ramp - created from the former southbound lanes of Interstate 275 - is no more as the former southbound lanes is being demolished to make way for the new southbound lanes.
To exit southbound Interstate 275 at Exit 42, be in your left lane as the exit is now a left lane exit. When you exit, you will encounter two traffic signals, one for Howard Avenue (northbound) and the other for Armenia Avenue (southbound). Signage placed by the Florida DOT will assist you in getting where you need to go.
Going further south, to exit southbound Interstate 275 at Exit 41C (Himes Avenue) you will still continue to exit from the right lane as you did before. However, you will remain on the Interstate 275 mainline until you reach the exit for Himes Avenue; the exit is clearly marked.
As always, please allow for extra time when you travel through the construction zones and obey all posted speed limits, as speeding fines are doubled in construction zones as well as school zones. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, as with any major Interstate 275 project, this is going to mean delays, road closures and detours as needed, but the end result will be a better, wider and safer Interstate 275 that we can use.