The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), District Seven conducted a Project Development & Environment (PD&E) Study for I-4 in Hillsborough County and Polk County. The study evaluated I-4 from east of 50th Street to the Polk Parkway (SR 570).
I-4 is a major east-west interstate that provides an important connection to the regional and statewide transportation network (such as I-275, I-75, and the Polk Parkway) linking the Tampa Bay region to the remainder of the state and nation. I-4 is a Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) highway. The SIS is the state’s network of high priority facilities. The 22.1 miles of express toll lanes on I-4 from east of 50th Street to the Polk Parkway in Hillsborough County and Polk County, are critical in order to maintain and improve access to major transportation facilities, as well as enhance mobility within the Tampa Bay area. The FDOT has designated I-4 eastbound from Tampa as one of seven one-way evacuation routes in Florida. The need for interstate system improvements within Tampa Bay has been extensively documented in numerous studies, such as the Tampa Interstate Study (TIS), several PD&E studies, and the TBX Master Plan.
This study includes the Recommended Build Alternative of express toll lanes but also a do nothing, or No-Build Alternative. As part of the Recommended Build Alternative, the express toll lanes on I-4:
- Reduces congestion on the existing lanes.
- Provides a choice to the user to take a tolled option or utilize the existing lanes.
- Provides reliable travel times.
- Are consistent with local and regional transportation plans.