By Brian Bokor
The Apollo Beach Blvd./I-75 overpass transportation capital improvement project (Paseo Al Mar Blvd. – CIP 69643) discussed for more than three years will begin construction this month, according to the Hillsborough County newsroom.
Paseo Al Mar Blvd. will be expanded to both the east and west over I-75 in order to create a four-lane divided highway linking U.S. 41 and the Waterset community to U.S. 301 and the Belmont community, as well as providing an alternative to Big Bend Rd. The project was designed to connect with the regional South Coast Greenway Trail for bicycle and pedestrian users and will be ADA (American with Disabilities Act) compliant.
The total estimated cost for the project is $26.5 million. Funding for the project was provided through a $5.75 million FDOT CIGP grant, a $10.7 million developer contribution and $10 million from county financing.
In addition to improving access for motorists, the project will also enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety by incorporating Vision Zero principles, such as upgraded bike lanes and ADA-compliant sidewalks.
According to Kris Carter, a public information officer for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), no entrance/exit ramps were planned for this project.
“There are difficulties with a full interchange at this location,” she explained. “All four quadrants have restrictions. On the west side, Waterset development is platting/building homes and has a proposed school site right up to the proposed overpass. On the east side of the interstate, the overpass goes through environmentally sensitive land which, if an interchange is proposed, would face a difficult federal approval process.”
David Vogel, project manager of the I-75 flyover project, explained that any work impacting traffic on I-75 would be performed at night with both the county and FDOT providing advance notice to motorists. The project is expected to be completed before the end of 2022.
Residents can visit http://hcflgov.net/HCEngage at any time during construction to learn more about the roadway construction project, view the project area map and request a project information meeting on behalf of their community.