Tampa roads can be confusing when you first move – is I-275 different from I-75? What is the Suncoast Parkway? The Veterans Expressway? All these roads aid Tampa residents in their daily life.
I-275 is a major and central interstate system the runs north and south through Tampa Bay. This highway runs from Wesley Chapel and Lutz to the North, and travels all the way South towards St. Petersburg and Bradenton. This road services more of the urban areas in the heart of Tampa, while I-75 brings travelers around the outskirts of Tampa to more rural areas.
I-75 is a larger interstate that runs along the East side of Tampa, allowing residents to easily travel north to areas like Brooksville or Gainesville, or south to Brandon, Bradenton, and Sarasota.
Veteran’s Expressway/ Suncoast Parkway (Toll Road)
The Veteran’s Expressway is not necessary for all Tampa residents, but can be useful in a few situations. It starts in South Tampa near Westshore, and runs all the way north through Lutz and up to Brooksville, where it turns into the Suncoast Parkway. This toll road is more important to residents of Westchase, Cirtus Park, and Town N’ Country. It can be a quick alternative from North Tampa to head to the airport, and also helps connect Tampa residents to Westchase.
Crosstown Expressway (Toll Road)
The Crosstown Expressway is a toll road that is most useful to residents of South and Downtown Tampa. It runs East and West through South Tampa, and connects residents all the way to Brandon. It is also referred to as the Selmon Expressway, or Toll Road 618. Be careful when taking this toll road without a SunPass, as it has no toll booths. Your license plate will be photographed and a bill will be sent to the registered owner to pay within 10 days, so we would highly recommend getting a SunPass before using this road. It can cut travel time to a minimum when traveling from South Tampa (Gandy or Westshore area) into Channelside and SoHo. Brandon is just a mere 15-20 minute drive on the Expressway, as it is generally not congested.
Tampa Bay Bridges
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Howard Franklin Bridge
The Howard Franklin Bridge is the stretch of I-275 that connects Tampa to Pinellas Park across Tampa Bay. This is a main road to Clearwater and St. Pete from Tampa.
Courtney Campbell Causeway
The Courtney Campbell Causeway connects Town N’ Country and parts of East Tampa to Clearwater. This is also another main bridge Tampa residents use to access the beaches.
The Gandy Bridge connects South Tampa and the MacDill area to St. Pete, and also provides easy access to Clearwater. The Gandy Bridge is highly congested during rush hours with commuters from St. Pete that work in Tampa.
Sunshine Skyway (Toll)
The Sunshine Skyway is part of I-275 that connects St. Petersburg to Bradenton. This is a busy bridge that is full of commuters, and can get very congested during rush hours.