West extension of Selmon Expressway will open on Monday

Come Monday, the Selmon Expressway West Extension above Gandy Boulevard will open to commuters. The project--which took 3 years to complete--will make traveling from Brandon to St. Pete much faster. 

After 3 years of construction, the Selmon West Extension is now complete and ready to welcome drivers.

"The Selmon Expressway is now two miles longer and it's providing even better service to our customers than it did before Monday came," Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Executive Director Joe Waggoner said.

The 1.9-mile-long toll lane will provide safer transportation to commuters traveling from Brandon to Pinellas County and help cut back on congestion on Gandy Boulevard. The bridge stands 30 feet tall, unlike the typical 15 feet. That's because businesses along Gandy initially raised concern about the bridge possibly blocking the sightline to their business. 

"We're extremely excited it's ready to use. We think it's a beautiful project and a very functional project. We hope the community is going to receive a lot of benefit over the next 30 years from what we've built here," Waggoner said.

As Waggoner explains, before the extension travelers with a destination on Gandy Boulevard were mixed in with commuters traveling from Brandon to Pinellas County clogging up roadways and delaying commutes. The project cost roughly $230 million dollars.

For commuters interested in using it, it costs $0.95 with SunPass or $1.31 with Toll-By-Plate billing.

"If they want to come to a business or go visit somebody on Gandy Boulevard they can still make that choice, but if they want to go to another destination and they want to save 15 minutes of time then they can get on this connection," Waggoner said.