"The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has plans in motion to replace the aging northbound/eastbound portion of the Howard Frankland Bridge, which is approaching the end of its’ serviceable life. A Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study is currently underway to identify the best replacement options and document how the replacement will affect the surrounding environment. In addition to the bridge replacement study, a key element of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) Master Plan is to develop a transit connection across the Howard Frankland Bridge that will link Pinellas and Hillsborough counties via transit stations. The linkage provided between Pinellas County’s proposed Gateway Station and Hillsborough County’s Westshore Regional Multimodal Center will allow uninterrupted transit movements along the bridge. For this to be possible, however, the corridor must be capable of accommodating the appropriate transit provisions. Therefore, we will also conduct a Transit Corridor Evaluation Study to determine opportunities and constraints of providing a potential transit envelope in conjunction with bridge replacement.
While the primary purpose of the PD&E study is to examine replacement of the bridge without increasing capacity, the transit study will examine how transit could be included in the bridge replacement construction. The transit study will examine engineering constraints and develop feasible alternatives to accommodate transit in the design of the replacement bridge, or determine if a new structure would be required. The study will review data gathered during the Pinellas County Alternatives Analysis (AA), which looked at providing premium transit service from Pinellas County to Hillsborough County. The study will also analyze data from the Westshore Multimodal Center Study. The Howard Frankland Bridge corridor must accommodate the appropriate transit provisions to connect all transit systems regionally."
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