Interstate 275 - Tampa Bay, Florida
View of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge from Interstate 275 south near the Dick Misener Bridge over the Main Channel east of Boca Ciega Bay.
Interstate 275 is the urban route through the Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area, while Interstate 75 bypasses the downtown areas to the east.
- State Road 93
- Built: 1973-1983
- Total Length: 60 miles
- Major Cities Served: Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton
The first sections of Interstate 275 were constructed with other designations:
- Interstate 4 from St. Petersburg northeast to the Howard Frankland Bridge and then east to downtown Tampa - built between 1960 and 1964.
- Interstate 4 and Interstate 75 through the downtown interchange - built in 1965.
- Interstate 75 from downtown Tampa north to Pasco County - built between 1964-1967.
This numbering configuration lasted through the 1960s, and Interstate 4 was fully signed on today's Interstate 275 until May 14, 1971. On that date, Interstate 4 west of the downtown interchange was replaced by Interstate 75. This designation lasted for a few years, but Interstate 75 was in turn replaced by Interstate 275 on August 24, 1973. Interstate 75 was relocated to the Interstate 75E bypass route.
The remainder of the Interstate 275 route was completed in stages between 1978 and 1984. Interstate 275 was gradually extended south during this time period from downtown St. Petersburg, although progress was slowed somewhat by the Sunshine Skyway collapse. Nevertheless, the Interstate 275 freeway was open all the way south to the skyway by June 1985, and by 1987, the new Sunshine Skyway bridge carried the Interstate over Tampa Bay. A connection was also constructed at the south end of the Skyway to Interstate 75 in Manatee County in the early 1980s.
Bridges on Interstate 275
Since Interstate 275 crosses Tampa Bay twice, it has two major bridges along its route: the Howard Frankland Bridge between Tampa and St. Petersburg and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge between St. Petersburg and Palmetto. The Howard Frankland Bridge is a concrete bridge that was once designated as Interstate 4 and later as Interstate 75. It was built in August 1960 and expanded with new south/westbound lanes in August 1991. A subsequent reconstruction of the north/eastbound lanes was completed in 1993; today the bridge has six to eight lanes in width.