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Up to Speed: Gandy Selmon Extension year in review

It’s been more than a year since it opened. Despite its one maintenance hiccup, we get a pulse on the Gandy extension to the Selmon Expressway.

TAMPA, Fla — Nearly 20,000 people take the Selmon Extension connecting Tampa’s Downtown to St. Petersburg, over Gandy Blvd every day.  

After years of construction, the 1.9-mile extension has been open now for a little more than a year. It makes the drive faster for those willing to pay the 94-cent toll. It allows drivers to bypass three traffic lights on Gandy Blvd. The decorative lighted triangular support fins create quite the view.

Since it opened a year ago in April there have been few traffic problems. In March, the extension temporarily closed for repairs after crews found loose steel strands during a routine inspection.

Other than that, THEA says there have been no other issues for the extension as it remains a route that tens of thousands or people take to save a little extra time every day.

Leaders with the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority assured drivers the closure was out of caution and not because of structural issues. The $230 million extension was paid for by toll revenue and bonds.

While it saves time waiting in traffic on Gandy, it also connects to the rest of the Selmon Expressway allowing drivers to get from Brandon to Pinellas without hitting a stoplight.

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