Perspectives on TBX project on the eve of major MPO vote

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By Rob Lorei

On Radioactivity Tuesday we talked about the controversial TBX project that will be voted on the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization on Tuesday. TBX is the proposal to widen much of the interstate system in Hillsborough County by adding 90 miles of toll lanes to the currently free I-4, I-75 and I-275. The project would also re-do the downtown interchange where I-275 and I-4 meet. And it would replace the aging Howard Frankland Bridge and re-do the road system around Tampa International Airport. Approval by the MPO is necessary to get federal state and local funding.

Transportation officials say that the toll lines will help relieve traffic gridlock on the interstate system, but opponents say it threatens surrounding communities and does little to relieve traffic congestion. Our first guest on Radioactivity Tuesday , Tampa Bay Times reporter Craig Pittman, recently penned a story that questioned  the revenue forecasts projected for the TBX toll lanes. Then we had Susan McGrath of the Florida Consumer Action Network and Michelle Cookson of Sunshine Citizens, two local organizations that have helped organize the vocal opposition to the TBX project.