By Tamas Mondovics
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) Board of Directors recently released a decision to award the Selmon West Extension Design-Build contract to the team of Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. and AECOM.
According to THEA officials, the cost of the contract, which involves a two mile toll lane extension in the median of Gandy Blvd., is close to $230 million, will be paid by toll revenues and bond proceeds.
In February 2016, the THEA Board of Directors unanimously voted to approve $2.6 million for conceptual designs of the Selmon Extension that will offer a choice for regional travelers to either use Gandy Blvd. for local destinations or use the extension for a direct connection to the Lee Roy Selmon Expy., Dale Mabry Hwy. or the Gandy Bridge.
The extension hopes to relieve congestion and to provide an alternate route for travelers seeking an easier and quicker access to the harbor or to the Gandy Bridge.
The THEA owns, maintains and operates four facilities within Hillsborough County: Selmon Expy., Brandon Pkwy., Meridian Ave., and Selmon Greenway.
“Local residents, Gandy businesses, and commuters are important to us,” said Joe Waggoner, THEA Executive Director, in a recent press release announcing the Board’s vote to award the project to Kiewit.
Officials said that THEA’s goal was to find the team best suited to build an aesthetically-pleasing bridge while minimizing the construction impact on residents, business owners and commuters. Four teams were selected to present proposals that showcased innovation in both design and construction techniques.
According to Vince Cassidy, Chairman of THEA’s Board of Directors, selecting the right company for the project, “was a competitive process with four outstanding teams submitting proposals.”
“The Kiewit and AECOM proposal depicted a signature bridge, one that will further promote the Tampa Bay area as an exciting place to live, work and play,” Cassidy said.
Construction of the Selmon West Extension is expected to begin in early 2018, with an anticipated operational date in late 2020.
For information, visit www.selmonextension.com.