TAMPA -- Construction equipment scattered along Gandy Boulevard in Tampa is the first sign of work beginning on the long-talked-about Selmon Extension connecting the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway at Gandy and Dale Mabry with the Gandy Bridge via a raised roadway over the current Gandy Blvd.

The 1.9-mile toll lane will provide drivers a choice between using the local lanes at ground level to access local streets and businesses or the raised express lane providing a direct link between the Gandy Bridge and Selmon for regional commuters traveling between St. Pete and Brandon.

During the construction phase, which is expected to last until the fall of 2020, commuters can expect slight delays. Drivers are encouraged to allow an extra 15 minutes during peak traffic times.

The hassle will pay off when the 20-30 minute trip during rush hour is cut to about 2 minutes when the project is complete.

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