Roadway, pedestrian and aesthetic upgrades completed along the SR 585 corridor through the City of Tampa’s Ybor City District transformed this former truck route into an inviting, historic neighborhood corridor that supports all users and modes of transportation, safety, economic growth and livability. The SR 585 Corridor Modification project received the 2016 Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission Chairman’s Award for excellence in planning and design, contributing to a better quality of life, and serving as a model to learn from and emulate.
Heavy truck traffic on SR 585 (21st and 22nd Streets) through Ybor City between I-4 and the Port of Tampa divided and eroded this National Historic Landmark District for decades. Completion of the I-4 Connector diverted most truck traffic off local roads and made the SR 585 Corridor Modification project possible. Wade Trim worked with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 7, City of Tampa, Ybor City Development Corporation, Barrio Latino Commission, and local businesses and residents, to restore this transportation corridor. Extending 2.75 miles from SR 60 to SR 600, the project narrowed and enhanced the corridor through a “roadway diet” and a “complete streets” design approach to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists and public transportation, while transferring ownership from FDOT to the City of Tampa.
Three distinct sections defined the project. A one-way pair from SR 60 to 14th Avenue, was reduced from three lanes each way to two lanes with on-street parking, bicycle lanes and wider sidewalks. The section from 14th Avenue to 21st Avenue was changed to a two-lane roadway with a designated bike lane. Finally, from MLK Jr. Boulevard to SR 600, the addition of sidewalks and high visibility mid-block cross walks at a high school and transit bus bay completed the pedestrian-friendly corridor.
A comprehensive public involvement program was implemented to address the desires and concerns of stakeholders and local community organizations. Construction sequencing and a Maintenance of Traffic Plan minimized the economic impact of construction by maintaining business access and traffic capacity. New hardscape and landscape elements, including historical five-globe lighting, granite curb, and recycled brick paver crosswalks, were selected to reflect the area’s culture and history while maintaining current standards.
The existing 100-year-old storm sewer system was retrofitted to accommodate the narrower roadway, and new LED mast-arm mounted traffic signal displays and LED pedestrian count-down displays were installed. To satisfy ADA requirements, extensive cross slope analysis was performed to design a suitable street curb profile and drainage that accommodated opposing changes in curb elevation from the reduced road width and sidewalk widening.
To further support safety on the enhanced multi-modal facility, the City will prohibit through trucks on the roadway, diverting non-local truck traffic to the I-4 Connector.