It's hard to find a time when there is not a backup on I-275 through downtown Tampa. Now, the state has a plan to fix the congestion which involves a complete reconstruction.

The Tampa Bay Express Project is between five and 10 years away and won't start until the funding is secured, but it's already getting some push back from some community members.

Adam Metz of downtown Tampa says there must be another way to help get traffic through the city without tearing out a lot of the homes and businesses along side the interstate.

"It's a $9 billion project that's going to destroy dozens of homes and businesses and it's not going to relieve congestion," Metz said. "It's not going to achieve what FDOT believes it will achieve."

The Tampa Bay Express Project hopes to increase the number of lanes and add express lanes to I-275, to allow more cars and transit to pass through. The homes and businesses along the interstate currently sit on property owned by the state of Florida, and lease their space from FDOT. 

They have been informed of the project.

Metz and others are concerned community gardens installed after the first round of interchange reconstruction and small independent businesses forced to relocate will ultimately cost the city of Tampa in lost tax revenue.

Numerous public meetings are scheduled before the project begins.  FDOT encourages all interested parties to learn more and engage in the process.  

For more information on the Tampa Bay Express Project visit the FDOT website. There is also a petition opposing the project on