The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1962 requires an ongoing transportation planning process in urbanized areas in order to receive federal funds for transportation improvements. Pursuant to this Act, which calls for a continuing, cooperative, comprehensive transportation planning process, Hillsborough County has completed the Tampa Urban Area Transportation Study (TUATS). This study is periodically reevaluated to determine future travel demands in the County, and to develop highway and transit improvements that will satisfy this demand. The most recent TUATS reevaluation is the Tampa Urban Area Transportation Study Year 2000 Plan which indicates a need for a six-lane arterial for Buffalo Avenue. The proposed action is consistent with the adopted transportation plan.
In addition to the above, an interstate bypass around the City of Tampa is under construction in the project area. Based on previous studies, the proposed interstate construction (Interstate
75) will include a major interchange at S.R. 574-A to provide a major east/west interstate connector for the Tampa Urban Area.
It is proposed that approximately seven (7) miles of State Road 574-A (Buffalo Avenue) be multi-laned from the vicinity of 40th Street (S.R. 599) in Tampa, Florida, to the vicinity of County
Road 574 in Mango, Florida. Within these general limits the proposed action is to construct an ultimate six-lane roadway to replace the existing two-lane facility. General design features associated with the proposed action include: multilaning, urban design roadway sections, operational improvements at major intersections, a grade separated interchange at U.S. 41, an additional bridge crossing the Tampa Bypass Canal, additional through lanes on Buffalo Avenue through the I-75 interchange, and vehicular circulation and access considerations.
The proposed six-laning of Buffalo Avenue within the general limits described above excludes that section of Buffalo Avenue through the I-4 interchange. Design concepts for this section will be developed in the ongoing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) study for I-4 and will be compatible with the improvements proposed herein.