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Construction Begins To Add Lanes To I-4 Interchange and I-275

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - On Monday, construction workers started on a massive project: to add lanes to the area between the I-4 interchange and Hillsborough Avenue!

In order to add Northbound and Southbound lanes between the I-4 interchange and Hillsborough Avenue, officials say its going to cost $85 million, but it needs to happen, as areas like in downtown Tampa continue to grow.

Charles Goins says traveling through the Tampa Bay Area lately has gotten more and more difficult.

"Traffic has gotten a lot worse. People are anticipating the interruptions with time to get into normal habits, so they go different ways and then those ways that I found that are a little bit better for me to get around are overly crowded. A lot more accidents lately as well," said Goins.

He says he has to take I-4 to get to his job.

"I would have to leave extremely early. If I had to be at work at say 9 o' clock, I would leave at maybe 5:30 or 6."

But soon his commute will look very different.

Department of Transportation spokesperson, Kris Carson says "This week the department of transportation is going to start working on adding one lane in both directions on I-275 from North of I-4 to the Hillsborough Avenue Area."

Carson says the new construction project is necessary.

"Unfortunately on I-275, we do have quite a few crashes every day. I'm sure anyone who drives that stretch everyday can attest to that," said Carson.

She says the project will on average reduce total freeway crashes by 14% by the year 2035. She says safety is the priority.

"We are going to include noise barrier walls, wider side walks in a lot of the underpasses and bright underpass lighting," said Carson.

Although Goins says it's not an easy project to complete, it will be worth it.

"So everybody's going to kind of be frustrated with the traffic and everything that's coming about because of the construction, but I think it will be a great opportunity for a change and an update," said Goins.

Officials say the project is scheduled to be completed in 2026.

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