A temporary downside to Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik's shiny billion-dollar effort to revamp Channelside — traffic-stalling road construction, of course — is set to begin at the end of this month.
Come August 29th, roads will begin to be shut down as they undergo improvements in conjunction with the redevelopment, which Vinik and others say will breathe new life into the area.
But before the new-life breathing happens, those who live and work in downtown Tampa will have to deal with months of lane/road closures as the project ensues.
On the 29th, the city announced Monday, lanes of Morgan Street between Brorein Street and Old Water Street be closed, and are expected to reopen in December. The following Monday, the lane on the north side of Channelside Drive between Morgan Street and Jefferson Street will close and could reopen by next summer.
In other words, the northwest corner of Amalie Arena.
According to a website that aims to update residents on the project, the roadway and infrastructure upgrades will replace 65-year-old pipes, create 3,269 new feet of bike lanes and resurface 11,229 feet of roadway. The city is reimbursing the developer for making the improvements.
The redevelopment itself is expected to add nine million square feet of residential, retail, office, educational and recreational space to the area, including the University of South Florida Morsani School of Medicine and Heart Health Institute.
The development team has estimated the project will be done by 2020.