Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend road closures

- The annual Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic race is this weekend, and city officials have announced “rolling” street closures in downtown Tampa, Davis Island, and portions of Bayshore Boulevard.

The changes in traffic flow begins Friday when race participants will head to the Tampa Convention Center for late registrations or packet pick-ups. The heaviest traffic could occur between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

To ease the commute, a free shuttle will be operating from the Royal Regional Parking lot at 1200 North Tampa Street, just north of the downtown area near Interstate 275. It costs $2 to park. The shuttle service to the Convention Center begins at 4 p.m. and will only be in operation on Friday.

On Saturday, street closures begin at 3 a.m. for the 15-kilometer -- which starts at 6:40 a.m. -- and 5K races -- which begins at 9:15 a.m. Street closures are expected to end Saturday around 1 p.m.

On Sunday, street closures also begin at 3 a.m. for the Half Marathon -- beginning at 6 a.m. – and 8K races -- beginning at 9:15 a.m. Street closures are expected to end Sunday around 11:30 a.m.

The effected streets will reopen after Tampa police determine the course is clear of racers and is safe for vehicle to travel. Drivers who need to enter the area on the race days are asked to “exercise caution, patience and courtesy,” according to city officials.

The rolling street closures each day are:

Saturday, February 24

3 a.m.

Bayshore Blvd. from Brorein St. to Platt St.
Selmon Expressway eastbound exit ramp to Florida Ave.
Franklin St. from Old Water St. to Whiting St.
Florida Ave. from Channelside Dr. to Whiting St.
Whiting St. from Florida Ave. to Tampa St. westbound
Morgan St. from Old Water St. to Brorein St. northbound
Morgan St. from Bell St. to Old Water St. southbound
Platt St. / Channelside Dr. from Parker St. to Nebraska Ave

6 a.m.

Bayshore Blvd. from Platt St. to Gandy Blvd.
Gandy Blvd. from Zion St. to Bayshore Blvd.

Sunday, February 25

3 a.m.

Bayshore Blvd. from Brorein St. to Swann Ave.
Platt St. from Plant Ave. to Florida Ave.

4 a.m.

Franklin St. from Whiting St. to Brorein St. southbound
Franklin St. from Channelside Dr. to Old Water St.
Whiting St. from Florida Ave. to Tampa St. westbound

5 a.m.

Bayshore Blvd. from Swann Ave. to Gandy Blvd.

6 a.m.

West Davis Blvd. to East Davis Blvd.
Arbor Pl. from Davis Blvd. to Columbia Dr.
Columbia Dr. from Arbor Pl. to Barbados Ave.
Barbados Ave. from Columbia Dr. to Channel Dr.
Channel Dr. from Barbados Ave. to South Davis Blvd.
South Davis Blvd. to West Davis Blvd.

The following City of Tampa parking garages will open at 5 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24, and 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 25. The parking fee is $10 per vehicle:

Fort Brooke Garage, 107 N Franklin St.
TCC Garage, 333 S. Franklin St.
South Regional Garage, 301 Channelside Dr.
Whiting Street Garage, 400 E Whiting St. (open Saturday only)

Tampa police also advise any participant or spectator to report any suspicious activity and “no tip is too small.” Reports can be made to a nearby police offer or submit an anonymous tip through the Tampa Police Department mobile app, which is available on iPhones and Androids.

For further information on the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic Race Weekend, including traffic maps, head to the official website.

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