The Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) has named Lane Construction Corp., in a joint venture with Superior Construction, as the preferred team in exclusivity for the $1-billion project to modernize the Westshore Interchange of Interstate 275 and State Road 60 in Tampa, according to an announcement from Lane.

The joint venture, in which Lane has a 50% stake, has already signed a $10-million contract with FDOT for the planning phase of the project, developing a multi-year program to rebuild one of the busiest interchanges in the city. The planning phase, according to Lane, is set to be complete by November, with construction slated to begin by spring 2024 with a separate contract. 

A phased design-build project, the joint venture team will work collaboratively with FDOT on refining the design, and work packages will be incorporated into the project in phases as the design progresses, according to an emailed statement from Superior Construction. 

The Westshore Interchange project will increase capacity along the east end of the Howard Frankland Bridge to Lois Avenue and north of State Road 60 to State Road 589, according to the statement from Lane, including general use and tolled express lanes as well as ramps to Tampa International Airport. 

As the largest central business district in Florida, the Westshore district includes some 4,000 businesses, two shopping centers, 40 hotels and roughly 250 restaurants just a few miles from downtown Tampa.

"The district's central location, its growing residential population and increased traffic to and from the airport have highlighted the urgency of the strategic project," Lane said. The aim is to improve safety and ease the flow of more than 400,000 daily vehicles anticipated to be traversing the interchange by 2045. 

According to FDOT, the approximately 10-sq-mile business district provides access to Bay Area residential neighborhoods, three major interstates and two transit centers. 

The project is part of a long-standing plan to improve and modernize Tampa's interstate system, according to FDOT. It will be constructed in phases with an overall completion date set for 2031 with a total cost of approximately $1.25 billion. 

FDOT says the project will fully reconstruct the Westshore Interchange, and includes design includes flyover ramps to replace the existing loop ramp from westbound SR 60 to northbound I-275. 

Other improvements Include direct express lanes to Tampa International Airport, Courtney Campbell Causeway, Independence Parkway, Veteran's Expressway and the Howard Frankland Bridge. 

A two-lane flyover from the Howard Frankland Bridge to westbound SR 60 toward the airport will be constructed, as will an on-ramp from Reo Street to southbound I-275. 

Three local roadways will be reconnected to I-275: Reo Street, Occident Street and Trask Street, to help improve local traffic circulation as well, according to FDOT. 

It's the latest FDOT project for Lane, which has acquired or is finalizing $888 million in orders since the start of 2023, including a project to increase capacity and improve safety at Interstate 4 and Sand Road in Orange County, Fla. It brings the company's order backlog to more than $3 billion.