Crews are on site to build a one-mile, $390 million road project that will link the Selmon Expressway and 22nd Street with Interstate 4.
The project, which began three years ahead of schedule, is expected to virtually eliminate Port of Tampa truck traffic through the Ybor City Historic District by the summer of 2013.
Federal stimulus funds projected to create 500 direct jobs accelerated the launch of the Interstate 4 Connector project in March.
Crews are building underground and above-ground support structures, while production is under way to cast 2,765 bridge segments to be lifted onto the supports to create the elevated highway Here's a look at what to expect:
Design: A series of ramps will connect I-4 and the Selmon Expressway. At the widest point, 12 lanes will pass beneath the toll gantries just south of Seventh Avenue.
Trucks vs. autos: Some ramps will be for trucks only. Daily traffic in 2013 will reach 28,000 vehicles, 2,200 of them trucks, with an additional 23,000 daily vehicles by 2033.
Tolls: Range from 50 cents to $1.25 for vehicles with two axles to between $1 and $6.25 for vehicles with six axles.
Local impact: In addition to reducing port truck traffic, traffic on 21st, 22nd and 50th streets is expected to improve. Travel time will be reduced between I-4 and the Selmon Expressway, with fewer accidents and less fuel use envisioned.
I-4 impact: I-4 truck traffic will increase as Port of Tampa container cargo traffic increases. Motorists will have an alternative in 2015 when the Tampa-Orlando high speed rail is expected to begin operation.
Savings: Reduction in traffic delays, accidents, travel time, fuel savings, FDOT says.