TAMPA - City transportation officials are preparing a long-range plan to reconfigure a portion of West Cypress Street, build new sidewalks, add bicycle lanes and install new traffic signals.
Tampa City Council on Thursday approved about $331,000 for road improvements on Cypress from Dale Mabry Highway to Himes Avenue. The funds are from transportation revenues collected through impact fees and local gas taxes.
"What we want to do is extend the merge lane which is very short and problematic and extend it further along Himes," said Jean Duncan, the city's transportation director. The extension is expected to make the roadway, which is a truck route, safer and increase vehicle capacity, Duncan said.
Engineering firm, Pitman Hartenstein & Associates, was awarded a contract for planning and road design. The company is expected to hold two public meetings to explain the project and get comments from area residents. Those meetings are several months away.
Construction probably will not begin for about three years.
"We'll certainly communicate with neighbors on alternatives as we go along," Duncan said.
Other portions of Cypress also will get upgrades.
From Himes to North Boulevard work will either add bicycle lanes or "sharrow" markings to alert motorists and bicyclists that they must share the roadway. "We will do one or the other depending on what we can squeeze in there," Duncan said.
Sidewalks are planned on the north side of Cypress from Himes to MacDill Avenue.