June 2019 – At its June 11 meeting, the MPO held its annual Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) public hearing to receive feedback from the community and to approve a list of transportation projects to be funded in 2020-2024. Improvements to bus services, lighting safety, intersections, traffic signal systems, and I-4 Interchanges in the Seffner/Dover/Plant City area were accepted. Also approved was investment in system preservation and numerous walk/bike safety enhancements. One project was removed from the priority list, an extension of Big Bend Road from Boggy Creek to Balm Boyette Road, because of concerns about impact on the rural area.
Citizens and board members expressed concern about two projects on I-275. The projects are to add two general-purpose lanes on I-275 between I-4 and Bearss Ave, and to add lanes at the on/off ramps to and from I-4. Many residents of neighborhoods adjacent to these projects spoke in opposition. Representatives of the Florida Department of Transportation clarified that the projects generally don’t require buying homes or businesses. After much discussion, the board supported allowing FDOT to seek funding for these projects, which funding can be revisited in future years’ public hearings. Actions to approve the TIP and to amend the Long Range Transportation Plan passed on 11-5 and 10-6 votes.
The MPO board also asked for a workshop with HART and TBARTA to advance rapid transit projects, and for a report on how noise walls can reduce pollution in neighborhoods adjacent to the highway. And it unanimously approved a TIP amendment to get started on a new pedestrian crosswalk on Florida Avenue at Idlewild Avenue in the current fiscal year.
For details on the projects, please visit our TIP page.