TAMPA, Fla. — It's early 2021 all over again for drivers in South Tampa.
Traffic remains blocked from entering the Selmon Extention on Monday since engineers found two steel strands that had come loose from their anchor. The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority says the discovery was made over the weekend during a routine inspection.
While crews could replace the wires with traffic on the extension, its entire length was closed "in an abundance of caution," THEA said in an earlier statement.
The 1.9-mile tolled roadway that stretches from the Gandy Bridge to the Selmon Expressway has been well-welcomed since its opening on April 19, 2021. Officials have said the extension cuts what's normally a 15-30 minute commute on Gandy Boulevard — which lies in its shadow — down to about two minutes during peak congestion.
With the extension remaining closed, drivers are again feeling what it was like prior to its grand opening. Traffic cameras showed backups on eastbound and westbound Gandy Boulevard for much of the morning.
It remains unclear when exactly the extension will reopen to traffic. In the meantime, drivers can consider taking several routes when needing to get to St. Petersburg:
- Southbound Dale Mabry Highway to westbound Gandy Boulevard
- Southbound West Shore Boulevard to westbound Gandy Boulevard
- Southbound Manhattan Avenue to westbound Gandy Boulevard
Drivers can also consider heading north from Gandy Boulevard at any of these above-mentioned roads to get to Tampa.