The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) is conducting a Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study to evaluate the needs, costs, and effects of extending Whiting Street and Washington Street and reconfiguring the eastbound on-ramp of the Selmon Expressway at Jefferson Street and eastbound off-ramp at Florida Avenue and Channelside Drive. The study will consider extending Whiting Street and Washington Street to Meridian Avenue and include improvements to and re-alignment of the existing segment of Whiting Street from Jefferson Street to North Brush Street. The extension will provide a direct connection of Whiting Street to Meridian Avenue to improve traffic flow and safety for all transportation modes, increase capacity on the adjacent street network, and offer additional connections within the street network. The study area is shown in the map below.
The Whiting Street PD&E will analyze the extension/new alignment of the Whiting Street corridor, extending to Meridian Avenue, including improvements and realignment of the existing portion of the Whiting Street corridor between Jefferson Street and Brush Street, as well as the extension of Washington Street from Nebraska Avenue to Meridian Avenue. The study also will analyze reconfiguring the eastbound on-ramp to the Selmon Expressway at Jefferson Street and the eastbound off-ramp at Florida Avenue, removing the off-ramp at Channelside Drive, and adding a new eastbound off-ramp to Whiting Street.
The study area map shows the coverage area for the Whiting Street PD&E study. The study will also include research on the current state of all the roadways bridges in the highlighted area.
The purpose of this project is to improve safety, accessibility and circulation along the Selmon Expressway and throughout to the downtown and Channel District. The extensions of Whiting and Washington Streets will provide capacity improvements while complementing the City’s street grid network. Significant development throughout the City and Channel District, alongside anticipated traffic demand on the Selmon Expressway, has further spurred the need to improve downtown accessibility and circulation options, as well as enhance the safety and traffic flow along the Selmon Expressway.
The extension of Whiting Street is a commitment from THEA to the City of Tampa related to the Selmon Expressway Reversible Express Lanes (REL) project. Once ConAgra (Ardent Mills) vacates the property in the Channel District, CSX rail lines currently serving the flour mill will be removed to allow for the re-alignment and extension of Whiting Street.
The Whiting Street PD&E will be conducted in close coordination with the South Selmon PD&E and Selmon East PD&E to study capacity needs along the entire Selmon Expressway.
The Whiting PD&E study began in the third quarter of 2019 and is anticipated to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021.