The Florida Department of Transportation has issued a request for proposals to solicit competitive bids for the design and construction of the Howard Frankland Bridge, the Tampa Bay Business-Journal reports.
The new remodeled eight-lane southbound bridge will be carrying I-275 over Tampa Bay. The project also entails the removal of the existing northbound bridge over Tampa Bay, according to the report. The bridge also will include a dedicated pedestrian and bike lane.
The contract amount limit is around $814 million and will be advertised on Dec. 10.
The DOT is rebuilding the existing northbound bridge, which was originally constructed in 1960, and adding capacity to alleviate traffic congestion.
“In order to accommodate light rail in the future, we would not have to construct a third bridge as called for in the previous plan. We would only need to widen the existing southbound bridge and shift some of the travel lanes to the widened bridge, which would be more cost efficient and less impactful to the environment,” the department said in a document.
The additional express lane in each direction will better prepare the Howard Frankland Bridge for the potential of autonomous vehicles.