Construction has started on a project to extend Alexander Street from near Interstate 4 to State Road 39.
The Florida Department of Transportation is spending nearly $14.8 million on the work, which also includes widening a portion of State Road 39.
The project is designed to improve traffic flow on S.R. 39, a major north-south highway between Hillsborough and Pasco counties.
The contractor, Kamminga & Roodvoets, Inc., is expected to finish the work in January 2014.
The work includes extending Alexander Street, which dead-ends at I-4, north to link up with S.R. 39, near Joe McIntosh Road. In addition to the 2.6-mile extension, about .6-mile of S.R. 39 will be widened from two to four lanes from Joe McIntosh Road to Knights-Griffin Road.
When finished the entire corridor will be four lanes with medians and paved shoulders. New drainage ditches and ponds will be added along the corridor to control storm water runoff.
The existing State Road 39 could not be expanded due to a city cemetery on the west side of the highway and CSX railroad tracks on the east.
The project was first proposed several years ago.