November 2019 – After two years of hard work, rounds of public surveys, coordination with local governments and state agencies, and the MPO Board’s advisory committees’ input, the public hearing to adopt the It’s TIME Hillsborough 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) was held during the MPO Board meeting on November 5. The public hearing was a culmination of efforts, including representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) collaborating with the MPO staff to implement changes requested by the MPO Board. In addition, responses from 15,000 survey participants, citizens provided additional input during a 30-day public comment period, and in person at the public hearing were considered.
The MPO Board approved the draft 2045 Transportation Plan with exceptions, they:
- Removed the widening of SR 60 through the rural portion of eastern Hillsborough County;
- Removed the word “tolls” from the description of future express lanes on I-4 and I-75 (this does bit mean they can’t be tolled, just that being tolled isn’t being specified); and
- Identified as a top priority supporting HART’s negotiation with CSX for shared use of freight rail tracks.
The approved 2045 Plan includes ambitious visions for rapid transit and road improvements. In addition, work can now move forward with the Downtown Interchange “Quick Fix” near-term solution FDOT developed in collaboration with local neighborhoods and the MPO. Full reconstruction of the Westshore Interchange to reduce congestion on the roads is another major project that can now advance.