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5K race to mark opening of I-4, Selmon connector

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Published:   |   Updated: December 2, 2013 at 05:30 PM

TAMPA — The Interstate 4-Selmon Expressway Connector will open to motorists in early January, providing relief to Ybor City streets clogged with trucks serving the Port of Tampa, a Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman said Monday.

The project that will take about 10,000 trucks off city streets each day will cost about $582 million, including about $421 million for construction.

Construction on the elevated toll road began in March 2010 and originally was scheduled to be completed by June 12, 2013.

However crews encountered difficulties with soil conditions and tight access to the right of way that passes over the CSX railroad mainline serving Tampa and U.S. 60.

In May, the deadline for traffic to begin using the tollway was extended to Dec. 31. The latest revision means that vehicles will start using the Connector at an unspecified date in early January, FDOT District 7 spokeswoman Kris Carson said in an email.

The port and FDOT are sponsoring a celebratory 5K race for the Connector at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 28, a few days before the elevated tollway is opened to cars and trucks.

The event will be held on a portion of the elevated roadway, allowing the public an opportunity to see the city of Tampa from a new perspective as they run from 20th Street to Interstate 4 and back.

Runners will be able to see McKay Bay, Palmetto Beach, the roadway's toll facilities and the downtown Tampa skyline.

Registration information is available at RunTheConnector5K.com.

tjackovics@tampatrib.com

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