The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) presented their regional priorities to the Bay Area Legislative Delegation meeting on Tuesday at the Bradenton Area Convention Center. With legislators looking for specific projects, Executive Director Bob Clifford and Board Member Jim Kimbrough presented five projects that are “ready to go.”
In developing regional priorities, TBARTA reached out to partners in the public and private sector, including business organizations like the Tampa Bay Partnership
(Tampa Bay On Track is a project of the Partnership).
In assembling their list, TBARTA considered several factors:
Is the project regional?
Does it provide connectivity to transportation spines and major activity centers?
Is the project ready to advance forward and can it be reasonably implemented soon?
Is it multimodal?
Is the project defined, understandable, and supported?
Is there a “legislative ask”?
Can the project bring other funds and or projects to the table?
Based on these factors and on projects and priorities identified in transportation plans across the region, the following projects were recommended for prioritization and legislative support:
- I-275 Managed Lanes (Howard Frankland Bridge/SR 60-Memorial interchange and connection to Veterans Expressway) - Strategic intermodal system (SIS) facility will support roadway and premium transit connections between Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties and Tampa International Airport.
Legislative ask: $75 million to finish right of way acquisition and move forward with a Design Build construction contract.
- Suncoast Parkway 2 – Sixty percent designed SIS facility, will support roadway connections between Hernando and Citrus Counties and northwest Florida, with the urbanized core of the Tampa Bay region.
Legislative ask: $100 million for advanced right of way acquisition.
- Roosevelt Connector – An extensively designed planned SIS potential toll roadway facility, with premium transit ability, in Pinellas County connecting the Bayside Bridge, St Petersburg Clearwater International Airport, the greater Gateway business district, and I-275.
Legislative ask: $50 million to finish right of way acquisition and move forward with a Design Build contract.
- Port Manatee Connector – The project: PD&E studied freight toll facility connecting Port Manatee with I-75.
Legislative ask: $20 million for preliminary design and toll analysis.
- SR 54/56 Managed Lanes – A partial project development and environmental (PD&E) under study managed lane facility with premium transit connecting the Suncoast Parkway and I-75 (the northern portion of the Tampa Bay Beltway).
Legislative ask: $20 million for additional PD&E, preliminary design, and toll analysis.
By selecting these priorities for 2013, it does not stop TBARTA from fulfilling one of their responsibilities: long-term transit planning for the Tampa Bay region. TBARTA remains a partner on the Pinellas Alternatives Analysis Study
and continues to work with cities and counties on transit projects
. Several road projects, including I-275 in Hillsborough County, must be completed in order to allow for future transit service.