Slow moving construction on the Veterans Expressway has many local travelers mystified.
Their major qualm? Two congested lanes where, presumably, there’s room for three.
- Construction on the The Veterans Expressway to be completed in 2021
- Travelers grow tired of delays
- More lanes to open later this year and into next
In a recent email to Bay News 9, viewer Jackie Laird wrote:
“It’s seems so much of the Vets is complete. Why don’t they open up some completed parts and give us a break?”
Laird is referencing an eight-year project to update the toll road.
Construction for the updates began in April 2013. The first step, slated to take four years, was to widen the south end of the highway. Once complete, the next four years will focus on the northern corridor.
If everything goes according to schedule, the project should wrap up in 2021.
In the meantime, though, the delays and detours are taking a different kind of toll on travelers like Pam Byrd.
"I have to turn around and I have to allow for more time to get to where I'm going,” said Byrd. “[…] It’s like it’s never ending.”
According to officials, one additional general purpose toll lane is scheduled to open in each direction as follows:
- North of Memorial Highway to Gunn Highway: Late this summer
- Gunn Highway to Sugarwood Toll Gantry: Late spring 2017
- Sugarwood Toll Gantry to Dale Mabry: Spring 2018
There are also express lanes planned for the highway scheduled to open by the end of this year.