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Tampa receives $5.3 million for Ashley Drive Interchange transformation

The grant is part of the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Grant Program.

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A future look at Ashley Drive heading North.

Rendering by City of Tampa

Navigating Downtown Tampa as a pedestrian may one day be a little easier — and safer.

The City of Tampa just received a $5.3 million grant from the the US Department of Transportation for upgrades to the Ashley Drive Interchange, according to a release. The money comes from the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Grant Program — which is projected to fund $1 billion in projects across the country.

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Rendering of Ashley Drive going south

Rendering via the City of Tampa

The transformation is expected to cost more than $10 million and include:

🚧 Bringing the Ashley Drive Interchange ramp down to street level by taking out the viaduct that elevates the ramp
🚧 Reconnecting the Downtown street grid to the new street-level Drive
🏗️ Adding new street connections
🌳 Considering new public parks + greenspace
🚴 Adding improvements for bikers and walkers

Overall, leaders expect that these upgrades will “slow traffic and better transition drivers from I-275 into Downtown Tampa,” according to the release.

“Ashley Drive is a vital corridor that has been disconnected by the existing on-ramp, causing a division between our communities and the heart of our city,” Alana Brasier, City of Tampa Chief Planner said in the release. “This federal grant will help people in the community be able to get to things they need, like jobs, hospitals, grocery stores, schools, homes that they can afford, and places to play outside.”

The shifts to the interchange will help reconnect the downtown to Tampa Heights, Rep. Kathy Castor said in the release. And, she noted, “pedestrians and cyclists will have safer access to workplaces, grocery stores, recreation, and housing in North Downtown.”

The news falls in line with Riverwalk expansion plans + new interconnecting developments that bridge Tampa’s gaps. Read more about the project on the city’s website.

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