According to CITYPOPULATIONREVIEW, State Route 618 or State Road 618 (SR-618), also known as the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway, is a toll road and interstate highway in the U.S. state of Florida. The highway forms an east-west link through Tampa. The highway is 27 kilometers long.
Tampa’s skyline with the Selmon Expressway in the foreground.
State Road 618 begins as an overpass at the end of Gandy Bridge, which is also part of US 92. The viaduct has 2×2 lanes and has a whole series of extra- dosed spans. This viaduct runs above Gandy Boulevard (US 92). After 3 kilometers of viaduct, the highway bends to the northeast on slopes. The highway runs parallel to Interstate 4, which can be reached via the Selmon Expressway Connector. One then passes through downtown Tampaand one has a good view of the skyline of this city from the highway. East of the center there is a three-lane alternating lane on top of the highway, so that 5 lanes can be used per rush hour. The interstate ends in the suburb of Brandon on Interstate 75, which runs from Miami toward Atlanta.
The Tampa Bay Crosstown Expressway System, a network of planned toll roads in the Tampa Bay region, was planned from the 1950s to the 1970s. One of the most important projects of this was the South Crosstown Expressway, then numbered State Road 449. Most of these planned routes were not built during that period due to land acquisition problems and local opposition.
The Crosstown Expressway is the only one of these planned toll roads that has actually been built. Between 1974 and 1976, the first section was constructed from Gandy Boulevard to Florida Avenue in Downtown Tampa. Construction then resumed on the extension toward I-75 through the east of the city. Construction began in 1979 and nearly the entire route was opened by 1983, with the connection to I-75 opening in 1987. The highway was originally designed with 2×2 lanes and traffic volumes were initially quite low because the parallel toll-free I-4 was not so congested at the time. After the region grew strongly, the use of the toll road increased to a point where it became saturated and structural congestion started to occur.
The highway was originally planned under the name ‘South Crosstown Expressway’. In 1975, a competition was held for the freeway logo, but there was only one entry, a blue logo featuring the pirate José Gaspar named ‘Tampa Crosstown Expressway’. This logo was used for about 30 years and was phased out in the early 2000s. In 2008, a regular road number plate with the number Toll 618 and the name Selmon Expressway was introduced. The highway is named after Lee Roy Selmon (1954-2011), an American Football player who played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers between 1976 and 1984.
From 1995, a widening of the toll road was planned. Because a regular widening was not feasible, and the highway has a strong rush hour movement towards the west in the morning and towards the east in the evening, a three-lane interchangeable lane with fully electronic toll collection was chosen. The interchangeable lane opened to traffic on 18 July 2006. The switch lane is partly built on a viaduct in the central reservation of the toll road.
Selmon Expressway Connector
See also Selmon Expressway Connector.
Between March 2010 and January 2014, a connecting highway between State Route 618 and Interstate 4 was built on the east side of Downtown Tampa, near Ybor City. This link road makes it easier for truck traffic to reach the Port of Tampa from the through highways. The new connection is 2 kilometers long and is a toll road. The new “connector” opened to traffic on January 6, 2014. Construction cost $425 million.
Selmon West Extension
Traffic between Gandy Bridge and the Selmon Expressway had to travel 2 miles on US 92, an urban arterial with two traffic lights, a level crossing and 7 irregular intersections. That is why a viaduct has been constructed on top of US 92, the so-called ‘Selmon Extension’. This is not a full-fledged motorway, but a super two. The project cost $230 million and was awarded in August 2017. Construction started in early 2018 and opened to traffic on April 19, 2021.
|Gandy Boulevard||Florida Avenue||8.5 km||00-00-1976|
|Florida Avenue||Falkenburg Road||13.3 km||00-00-1983|
|Falkenburg Road||I-75||1.5 km||00-00-1987|
|Gandy Bridge||Gandy Boulevard||3.0 km||19-04-2021|
The Selmon Expressway is a toll road, operated by the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA). Toll collection is fully electronic with SunPass or toll-by-plate.