The Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority may be exaggerating the support for the Gandy overhead overpass.

Mike Deeson, 10 Connects

February 8, 2010

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Tampa, Florida — More than 4,500 cars clog Gandy Boulevard each day, which is why the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority is looking to build an elevated toll road. The road will connect the Gandy Bridge to the Selmon Expressway.

According to the Expressway Authority, without the proposed project, traffic congestion will become more severe and hinder growth in the corridor.

But many along the corridor, like Ranch House Grill owner Ava Konstantinidis, don't want the $115 million project. She says her family is adamantly opposed to it.

And because of similar opposition, Tampa City Council Member Mary Mulhern is sending out a letter to neighborhood leaders. The letter explains the Expressway Authority is saying it has the support of the neighborhoods in the surrounding area.

Paul McCumber, the President of Regency Cove at West Shore and Gandy, says he can't speak for other areas, but his community has not made the decision yet.

And while the Expressway Authority says it has neighborhood support, or not much opposition for the overhead project, opponents say the Authority is not looking hard enough. They say there are literally visible signs, like the one on Gandy Boulevard that says, "No overhead project."

Expressway Authority Spokesperson Sue Chrzan says she won't deny there is opposition, but she says it is not as vocal as the previous attempts to do the project.

But that's not what we found speaking to people in the neighborhood. John Wrechsteing says they certainly don't have his neighborhood's support. Ava Konstantinidis says she doesn't understand how the Authority can say such a thing. She says it is going to hurt businesses in the area.

And while the Expressway Authority is excited about the project, it still has to travel a rough road to convince those in the area.


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