Drivers in southern Hillsborough County have an easier commute now that the new Apollo Beach Flyover overpass, connecting U.S. Highway 41 in Apollo Beach to U.S. Highway 301 in Riverview is open. County leaders, including County Administrator Bonnie Wise and Hillsborough County Commissioner Mariela Smith (District 5 – countywide) gathered recently for a ribbon-cutting celebration.
“This is a real game changer,” said Smith. “It is just part of a larger network geared toward improving the quality of life in the area.”
The new Apollo Beach Flyover at Paseo al Mar Boulevard is an east-west alternative to drivers in southern Hillsborough County. It is a four-lane divided road over I-75 that is friendly to cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. The flyover will provide congestion relief for the Big Bend Road corridor to the north.
On the west side, Paseo al Mar Boulevard starts at U.S. Highway 41 and Apollo Beach Boulevard. The east side is accessible by U.S. Highway 301 south of Big Bend Road at Balm Road.
“It cuts my travel time to my daughter’s house in half,” said Gwen Sinclair of Apollo Beach, whose daughter lives in the Belmont subdivision located off U.S Highway 301 South in Riverview.
Construction of the extension took 18 months, funded with $27 million provided by the county and the remaining, from private developers. “This would not have been made possible without the financial contribution of private developers,” Smith said.
She explained that the project enhances Vision Zero principles with clearly marked bicycle lanes, 8 ft. sidewalks and accessibility in accordance with the American Disabilities Act.
The Apollo Beach Flyover is the first of many needed improvements in the Big Bend Road and I-75 area. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is currently working on an $81.7 million project, including adding new entrance and exit ramps to Big Bend Road, increasing the number of turn lanes in multiple spots and rebuilding the Old Big Bend Road and Big Bend Road bridges.
Residents interested in receiving construction updates, including nightly lane closures, can sign up on the FDOT website at www.fdottampabay.com; reference project 424513-3-52-01.