Selmon Extension Frequently Asked Questions
Q: WHAT IS THE SELMON EXTENSION?
In order to maintain current access and visibility to businesses, the Selmon Extension will be innovatively designed to limit its size while maximizing visibility. We anticipate that the toll lane will be at least 30 feet high – that’s approximately twice as high than a typical urban bridge. The sleek design is intended to take the Extension out of a driver’s line of sight – allowing the driver to see businesses and turn lanes from both sides of Gandy Boulevard.
By removing the “pass-through” traffic coming to and from the Gandy Bridge that has no destination in the Gandy corridor, the Selmon Extension will create at least 35% greater capacity on Gandy Boulevard for neighborhood traffic and customers of Gandy Boulevard corridor businesses.
Q: What are the benefits of the Selmon Extension?
The Extension provides a safe, dedicated and reliable hurricane and emergency evacuation route for Gandy area and regional residents, as well as helping to reduce accidents from red-light running and distracted driving.
The Selmon Extension gives regional travelers a choice to either stay on Gandy Boulevard for local destinations or use the Selmon Extension for regional “pass-through” trips. This results in reduced travel times, fuel consumption, and carbon emissions.
The Selmon Extension provides critical connectivity to the region for travelers and commerce between Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. It allows buses, commercial, and emergency vehicles that are not stopping on Gandy Boulevard, seamless regional connectivity. The Selmon Extension will complete the link between the Selmon Expressway and the under-construction overpasses in Pinellas County that will link I-275 and the Gandy Bridge – providing connectivity from Brandon to the Beaches and back.
Q: What is the scheduled completion date for this project?
Q: Must all regional travelers now pay a toll to commute between Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties via Gandy?
Q: Are there impacts to utilities, such as water, sewage, garbage and electrical during the construction?
For the construction of the Selmon Extension, THEA will be utilizing a drilled shaft construction method. This method of construction disturbs less soil and causes less noise and vibration disruption than a typical project that uses a pile driving construction method that “pounds the ground.”
Q: How will the Selmon Extension address drainage and runoff concerns?
Post-construction, water collected on the Selmon Extension will flow into drainage pipes built into the piers and then piped directly to the drainage canal on the north side of Gandy Boulevard. This process should reduce the levels of standing water on Gandy Boulevard during times of heavy rains.
Q: Will the Selmon Extension project alter customer access to Gandy corridor business after construction?
Q: How will the construction of the Selmon Extension affect access to Gandy Boulevard and surrounding businesses?
We anticipate leaving the two lanes in each direction of Gandy Boulevard open during peak traffic times. Any needed lane closures will occur during off-peak hours. Any needed major road closures will happen overnight only.
Temporary closures of some median-turning movements may occur during the construction of the foundation. However, the closures, if required, would be for short durations and usually at night.
The final project will preserve all existing median-turn movements.
Q: How will the Selmon Extension affect businesses along Gandy Boulevard?
THEA will provide continuous project updates that include general project status and construction alerts.
THEA is also working with the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida to conduct an economic impact of the Selmon Extension. That study should be available Summer 2016.
When completed, the Selmon Extension will give travelers a choice, stay on Gandy Boulevard or take the 1.6-mile toll lane to connect directly to the Selmon Expressway.
Q: Will the Selmon Extension impair Gandy corridor business sign visibility?
Elevating the Extension so that the base of the structure is at least 30 feet high
Reducing the number of piers supporting the Extension by 30%
Spacing the supporting piers, on average, 200 feet apart
Q: What assistance is available to businesses impacted by construction of the Selmon Extension?
Q: What type of noise, air and light impacts can be expected?
Once the project is complete, the noise volumes on Gandy Boulevard will be lower, because we anticipate taking the regional commuter and commercial (trucks) traffic off Gandy Boulevard and redirecting it to the Selmon Extension.
THEA is also seeking ways to minimize “spillover” lighting by containing lighting needs to the Extension.
Q: Does THEA anticipate expanding the Selmon Extension from two (2) lanes to four (4) lanes?
Q: How much will the toll cost?
SunPass – $0.94
Toll-by-Plate – $1.19*plus statement admin fee