Selmon Extension closed until further notice after crews discover loose steel wires
TAMPA, Fla. - For Tampa drivers, be prepared Monday morning to make some adjustments to your commute if that includes the Selmon Expressway. The Selmon Extension – the elevated two-mile stretch over Gandy Boulevard – is temporarily closed for repairs.
Transportation officials said the temporary shutdown is being done out of an abundance of caution while crews work to repair and evaluate the safety of the section of the Selmon that opened only just last year.
During a routine inspection of the inside of the Selmon Extension, crews from the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority discovered two steel strands that had come loose from their anchors. The loose wires can be replaced without closing the overhead roadway, but the Authority says it just wants to be on the safe side.
"It's not a real cause for concern, just, this is a different bridge. This is unique," said Sue Chrzan with the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority. "There is only one in the US, lots in Europe, so we're just taking our time and extra precaution to make sure we're doing everything correct."
The repairs will only affect the newer Selmon Extension. The older portion of the Expressway and Gandy Boulevard will still be open.
The Expressway Authority has not yet said when the Selmon Extension will reopen, but indicated this could take several days.
The construction of the Extension began in 2018, and it finally reopened in 2021. The lanes are elevated 30 feet off the ground and above Gandy Blvd. There are 27 concrete encasements house steel cables that help support the bridge.