3 2 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Tampa, Florida -- Drivers were confused, lost, and frustrated!

The Florida Department of Transportation closed the Dale Mabry exit on I-275 early Wednesday morning, which is forcing drivers to take an alternate exits.

One of alternate exits is the Himes Avenue exit on the left of the interstate. It's forcing drivers in the left lane on the highway, the exit lane, to exit when some believe they are only in the fast lane. That means when they do exit onto the on ramp, they are making dangerous and illegal U-turns.

"This so confusing, all the construction signs," said one New York driver headed to Disney World in Orlando.

Within five minutes, a 10 News camera caught a dozen vehicles making illegal U-turns off Himes Avenue. We saw a dozen cars make rash U-turns in the middle of Himes Avenue.

"Anybody can easily get hit," said another driver.

FDOT closed the Dale Mabry exit on I-275 early Wednesday morning, which is forcing drivers to take an alternate exit.

Then Greg Metcalfe's business parking lot, which is right off Himes Avenue where drivers were making the U-turns, turned into the new three-point turn spot.

"I was just telling one of my co-workers they are going to be pulling in here because they are going to be lost," said Metcalfe.

Pedestrians and bicyclists like Brad Ruffino are having to change their daily routes now.

"I am going to try to avoid this area now because this traffic is too busy. It's dangerous," said bicyclist Ruffino.

Businesses along Dale Mabry are losing their customers, said a server at Sonny's BBQ.

"I work for tips so I need my customers to come," said server John Brown.

Brown saw a significant drop in customers serving on his lunch hour on Wednesday with the Dale Mabry exit now closed.

"I expect to make a certain amount a week and now because that happened I am probably not going to hit that amount. And now my bills will be struggling," explained Brown.

He hopes his customers know the back way to his BBQ, and Metcalfe is starting to enjoy the lost drivers as long as they are not making those U-turns in the street.

"I could set up a lemonade stand and maybe make a few extra bucks with all these people driving into our parking lot!" said Metcalfe.

FDOT is keeping the exit closed until September. Neighbors are encouraged to call FDOT with their concerns at 813-242-2462.

A ticket for making an illegal U-turn in Tampa is $153.

3 2 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/local/hillsboroughcounty/2014/05/28/fdot-dale-mabry-exit-himes-avenue-illegal-u-turn/9691889/