A construction project along a section of southbound I-275 is causing widespread congestion for drivers. Early Thursday morning, the Florida Department of Transportation shutdown the former right-side exit to Howard-Armenia Avenues and Himes Avenue. A new left-side exit ramp is now open for Howard and Armenia, with a separate exit for Himes farther west.
It was meant to be a simple switch during a four-year construction project to improve the interstate's driving conditions. But the change is leading to widespread congestion on I-275 and I-4, day in and day out.
Despite the daunting pileup, experts say traffic patterns are on the mend.
"Today, the travel time westbound along I-4 was a 25 minute travel time. Yesterday was a 45 minute travel time," FOX 13 Traffic reporter Jennifer Epstein said Friday.
FDOT is monitoring congestion along the impacted exits and is working with the City of Tampa to tweak traffic light patterns. They say southbound traffic, merging from Ashley Drive and Tampa Street, is mainly to blame for the mess.
A number of nighttime lane closures will also start soon as part of the construction project. Most of them begin at 10 p.m., but officials are working around the schedules of major Tampa events to avoid any added congestion.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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