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|April 12th, 2012, 03:30 AM||#15|
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More lanes, less toll plazas coming to Veterans Expressway
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY --
By Chuck Henson, Traffic Reporter Last Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The Veterans Expressway will be widened from a four lane divided highway to eight lanes. Construction starts this fall.
Project manager Paul Naranjo says they've adjusted the construction schedule to get things done faster.
"The original project started out from Memorial to Gunn Highway as one big construction project,” Naranjo said. “We've actually broken the project up into three segments so we'll actually have three separate contractors working simultaneously to expedite the construction of the project."
Besides the additional lanes, they’ll also be no toll plazas.
"As part of this project we are converting to a cashless system,” he said. “We're going to all electronic, so collection will be either by Sunpass or by toll-by-plate."
The new system will work like the Selmon Expressway tolls. Cars without a Sunpass will receive a bill in the mail.
Deborah Trusler lives nearby. Her main concern is the noise.
"I was concerned because it's already noisy and I just didn't know if they were going to be, how close they were going to be to the house now," Trusler said.
Once work starts, drivers should see at least two lanes of traffic at all times, with the exception of some overnight projects where the twenty two bridges and overpasses are being rebuilt.
Then local detours will be announced well in advance.
The project is expected to take three to four years. Once that wraps up construction will start on the stretch from Gunn Highway up to the Suncoast Parkway.
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