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Gateway Expressway Project Delayed


The Gateway Expressway project: opening has faced another delay, pushing its anticipated completion to spring, with finalization expected by summer. This $600 million initiative aims to improve connectivity in Pinellas County, Florida, by linking Interstate 275 with U.S. 19 and the Bayside Bridge through elevated toll lanes. Challenges in acquiring necessary materials for overhead signage have contributed to the delay, although a recent replacement of an overpass segment for durability issues has not been cited as a cause. This project represents a significant investment in the region’s transportation infrastructure, aiming to enhance traffic flow and accessibility.

Gateway Expressway Project Delayed: Spring Opening with Summer Finalization Expected

The Gateway Expressway project is constructing two new tolled roadways that will provide direct connections between US 19 and I-275, and the Bayside Bridge (north of 49th Street N) and I-275. Express lanes are being built on I-275.

SR 690, a new 4-lane tolled expressway connection from US 19 to the west of I-275. The new roadway is being built in the median of existing 118th Avenue North. SR 690 will be elevated over portions of 118th Avenue North, 49th Street North, 47th Street North, 43rd Street North, 34th Street North, the ramp at 31st Court North, and 28th Street North.

SR 686A, a new 4-lane tolled expressway from the Bayside Bridge to just west of I-275. It is primarily being built in the median of Roosevelt Boulevard between the Bayside Bridge and Ulmerton Road. An interchange at Ulmerton Road will be built as part of this project. The new roadway will continue south through the old Sunshine Speedway property until it merges with SR 690.

Express Lanes: In addition to the new toll roads, I-275 is being widened to create express tolled lanes (one lane in each direction) from south of Gandy Boulevard to 4th Street North. The express lanes will be in the median next to the existing I-275 general purpose (non-tolled) lanes. Express lanes are a congestion management tool used in urban areas to ease congestion, improve traffic flow, and give drivers travel options.

Other improvements include:

  • Rebuilding existing Roosevelt Boulevard from the Bayside Bridge to Ulmerton Road as generally two one-way surface roads including a new access configuration and roads for the St. Pete-Clearwater International (PIE) Airport terminal.
  • Repaving 118th Avenue North from US 19 to 31st Court North.
  • Repairing or rebuilding sections of existing US 19 and 118th Avenue North including new ramps and bridges.
  • Repaving the eastbound off-ramp from SR 690 to southbound I-275.

Work located in front of the St. Pete-Clearwater International (PIE) Airport includes:

  • Building a new airport access road parallel to Roosevelt Blvd, new airport ponds, new signalized intersection at Terminal Boulevard, and a permanent connection at Fairchild Drive.

Gateway Expressway Project Tolls

All tolls will be collected electronically using the SunPass prepaid toll program.

SR 690 and SR 686A Tolls

All vehicles are allowed on the Gateway Expressway Project. Toll rates will remain the same for all hours of the day and each day of the week. Tolls rates are based on the number of axles on your vehicle, with most passenger vehicles having two axles. All tolls on the Gateway Expressway (SR 690 and SR 686A) will be collected electronically using the SunPass Prepaid Toll Program or through TOLL-BY-PLATE.

I-275 Express Lanes

Only passenger vehicles, registered vanpools, and busses are allowed in the I-275 tolled Express Lanes. These lanes will be tolled from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Drivers pay the toll rate that is displayed on the overhead sign when they enter the tolled Express Lane and will never pay more than the price that is displayed at that time. Tolls in I-275 Express Lanes will be collected electronically using the SunPass Prepaid Toll Program only. Drivers traveling in the Express Lanes without an active SunPass or transponder are subject to $25 daily violation charge. Cash or TOLL-BY-PLATE payment systems will not be accepted in tolled Express Lanes.

Gateway Expressway Project: UPDATES

  • Ramp traffic pattern change onto northbound I-275, north of Roosevelt Blvd. – Traffic entering northbound I-275 from 118th Avenue N was switched on Friday, January 26, 2024 to a different ramp and now enters into the right side of the freeway. The ramp traffic enters into its own lane, but merges left into the outside thru-lane between the Roosevelt Boulevard and Ulmerton Road interchanges. Drivers are advised to be alert to this changed merge condition. Prior to the switch, traffic from 118th Avenue N entered into the left lane (next to the median) of northbound I-275. The new traffic pattern is a permanent change.

  • 4th Street entrance ramp onto northbound I-275 is open! The northbound 4th Street N (SR 687) entrance ramp to northbound I-275 (towards Tampa) reopened to traffic on Monday, September 18, 2023. Drivers are advised to be especially alert as motorists get reaccustomed to merging traffic in this area of I-275 approaching the Howard Frankland Bridge.
  • The southbound I-275 ramp (Exit 32) to 4th Street North (SR 687) remains closed, Detour route: Motorists can use Exit 30 at Roosevelt Blvd. (SR 686) as an alternative. The exit ramp is expected to open in early 2024.
  • I-275 access to 118th Avenue N. changed: As of November 9, 2022, I-275 access to westbound 118th Avenue N. is now permanently directed to the traffic signal at 31st Court N. The previous, direct exit ramp access onto westbound 118th Avenue N. east of 40th Street N. is no longer available.  These are permanent changes that will allow for the future operation of the Gateway Expressway toll road system.
  • US 19 ramp closed: The southbound US 19 ramp to Bryan Dairy Road / 118th Avenue North was permanently closed on August 25, 2021.

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