Dale Mabry Highway

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State Road 573 markerState Road 597 marker

Dale Mabry Highway
State Road 573, State Road 597
Route information
Length: 22.644 mi[1] (36.442 km)
Existed: 1943 – present
Major junctions
South end: MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa
  I‑275 in Tampa
North end: US 41 in Land O' Lakes
Location
Counties: Hillsborough
Highway system
SR 572 SR 573 SR 574
SR 595 SR 597 SR 599

Dale Mabry Highway is a north–south road in Tampa, Florida. The majority of its length consists of three lanes each direction plus a central turn-lane and often includes a right-turn lane. It begins at the MacDill Air Force Base entrance in South Tampa and ends by merging with US 41 just north of the Pasco County border. The highway carries multiple designations, carrying US 92 for an approximately five-mile (8.0 km) stretch between Hillsborough Avenue and Gandy Boulevard. It is the longest street in Tampa.[citation needed]

Dale Mabry Highway has many items of interest, including Raymond James Stadium, George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa International Airport, the Dale Mabry branch of the Hillsborough Community College, Plant High School, Gaither High School, shopping centers, car dealerships and restaurants.

Route description[edit]

Dale Mabry Highway carries several designations throughout its route.

The lane counts along the highway are as follows.

  • Four lanes (divided) from MacDill AFB to Euclid Ave.
  • Four lanes (undivided) from Euclid Ave to Kennedy Boulevard (State Road 60).
  • Six lanes (mostly divided, with some segments containing center turn lane) from Kennedy Boulevard to Van Dyke Rd. With a brief four lane section at Hillsborough Ave.
  • Mostly six lanes (mostly divided, with some segments containing center turn lane) from Ehrlich Rd/Bearss Ave to State Road 568 (Veterans Expressway).
  • Four lanes (divided) from State Road 568 (Veterans Expressway) to US 41.

The speed limit for most the length is 45 mph (72 km/h).

MacDill Air Force Base to Gandy Boulevard (SR 573)[edit]

The southern portion of Dale Mabry Highway between MacDill AFB and Gandy Boulevard (US 92, SR 600) is designated as State Road 573's entire length. This portion is also cosigned with unsigned SR 685. This section is four lanes wide, divided. Until the late 1990s, a Jai Alai fronton stood on the west side of the highway just south of Gandy Boulevard. The facility closed in July 1998 after 45 years of operation after the parent company of the fronton sold the 40-acre (160,000 m2) property for $8.3 million.[2] Today, a Home Depot and Sam's Club store sit on the property.

Originally a two-lane stretch, a widening project took place in the 1970s, increasing the road to four lanes. The project was at least partly contributed by the construction of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in 1974. In 2002, a roundabout was constructed just north of the main gate to MacDill as part of a security enhancement and road improvement project for the base.

Gandy Boulevard to Hillsborough Avenue (US 92)[edit]

The section of Dale Mabry Highway between Gandy Boulevard and Hillsborough Avenue is signed as U.S. Route 92 (State Road 600). Much of this portion is also cosigned with unsigned SR 685. This stretch of Dale Mabry Highway snakes through several south Tampa business areas and a residential district before approaching Raymond James Stadium with the SR 685 concurrency ending at Henderson Boulevard. The section of Dale Mabry between Gandy Boulevard and Kennedy Boulevard (SR 60) remains four lanes with moderate improvements taking place over the years, such as intersection improvements. The section of highway from Kennedy northward is six lanes with many businesses surrounding the highway.

Until 2000, the section of highway between Gandy Boulevard and Euclid Ave was two lanes. Additionally a 1950s era overpass stood over a CSX rail corridor just north of the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway. The overpass was torn down in the late 1990s as part of a widening project which increased that section to four lanes.

Hillsborough Avenue to Busch Boulevard/Gunn Highway (SR 580)[edit]

The section of Dale Marby Highway between Hillsborough Avenue and Busch Boulevard/Gunn Highway is signed as a portion of State Road 580. The Hillsborough Avenue interchange is a remnant of a failed freeway plan along Dale Mabry Highway. The original North Crosstown Expressway was supposed to have connected Dale Mabry at this (or the MLK) intersection, but was killed as well. Along the highway in the stadium and Northdale area are many businesses, more specifically car dealerships. The overall scene along Dale Mabry however, begins to shift from to a more suburban setting. The Busch/Gunn Interchange at the end of this stretch is also a remnant of the canceled expressway.

Busch Boulevard/Gunn Highway to U.S. Route 41 (SR 597)[edit]

The northern portion of Dale Mabry Highway between Busch Boulevard/Gunn Highway and U.S. Route 41 is designated as State Road 597's entire length. This section of Dale Mabry Highway continues to be four to six lanes north of Bearss Ave up to the Veterans Expressway. The line of businesses and apartment/condo developments continue along the highway until the Veterans Expressway. North of the expressway, the highway changes to a more rural setting towards the terminus of US 41.

North of the expressway, the highway used to narrow back down to two lanes as it snaked through a rural setting to US 41. This scene has since changed, as Dale Mabry between the Veterans and US 41 was widened to four lanes in 1996.

Surfacing[edit]

Dale Mabry Highway is also one of the last roads in Hillsborough County to include concrete (driving surface) segments (Hillsborough Avenue and Bayshore Boulevard are the other major, non-interstate, arteries that have concrete segments). Originally, the concrete segment was continuous, stretching from MacDill AFB to just south of Hillsborough Ave. However, after numerous intersection modifications and widening over the years, some of the original areas have disappeared as they were replaced by asphalt surfaces. The existing concrete surfaces have since been rehabilitated, though there is a 1 mile (or less) exception between Spruce and Cypress Streets. The only reason why that noted section was not rehabilitated is because of pending reconstruction on Interstate 275.

History[edit]

Originally constructed in 1943 to connect MacDill Air Force Base with Drew Field, Dale Mabry Highway was named after Dale Mabry, a Florida native and World War I aviator.[3] Dale Mabry runs along what was originally called Vera Ave. according to land plots from the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser. The highway has seen many changes throughout the years, including an extension to US 41 in Pasco County, and major widening projects.[when?]

During the 1960s/1970s, a portion of Dale Mabry Highway was planned as a freeway between what was then I-4 (now I-275) to the Northwest Hillsborough Expressway (now Veterans Expressway's eastern terminus).

Dale Mabry Highway is typical of a roadway in a suburban sprawl setting. The road is a minimum four lanes wide along its entirety and in many places has wide medians, no sidewalks, and open drainage. It is also home to many strip clubs, including Mons Venus.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location Mile[1] km Destinations Notes
Hillsborough Tampa 0.000 0.000 MacDill Air Force Base
1.842 2.964 US 92 west (Gandy Boulevard / SR 600) – St. Petersburg north end of SR 573; south end of US 92 / SR 600 overlap
2.01 3.23 SR 618 east (Selmon Expressway) to I‑75 – Brandon, Downtown Tampa SR 618 exit 1; no access from Dale Mabry south to SR 618 east
4.609 7.417 SR 685 north (Henderson Boulevard) no left turn southbound
5.363 8.631 SR 60 (West Kennedy Boulevard) – Tampa, Clearwater
6.061 9.754 I‑275 (SR 93) to I‑4 – Ocala, Orlando, St. Petersburg I-275 exit 41
6.875 11.064 SR 616 west (West Columbus Drive) – Tampa International Airport, Clearwater
7.892 12.701 SR 574 east (West Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard)
8.887 14.302 US 92 east / SR 580 west (Hillsborough Avenue / SR 600 east) interchange; north end of US 92 / SR 600 overlap; south end of SR 580 overlap
  9.651 15.532 Lambright Street (CR 598 east) - Lowry Park Zoo
  10.911 17.560 To SR 589 (Veterans Expressway) / West Waters Avenue (CR 584 west / CR 587A east)
  11.675 18.789 SR 580 east (Busch Boulevard) / CR 587 west (Gunn Highway) – Temple Terrace, Busch Gardens, Citrus Park interchange; north end of SR 580 overlap; south end of SR 597
  13.684 22.022 West Fletcher Avenue (CR 582A east)
  15.033 24.193 Ehrlich Road / Bearss Avenue (CR 678)
  18.028 29.013 CR 685A west (Van Dyke Road) to SR 589
Cheval 18.39 29.60 SR 589 south (Veterans Expressway / SR 568 west) to I‑275 – Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa International Airport
Lutz 20.494 32.982 Lutz Lake Fern Road (CR 582 west)
Pasco Land O' Lakes 22.644 36.442 US 41 (SR 45)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b FDOT straight line diagrams, accessed March 2014
  2. ^ Danielson, Richard (June 28, 1998). "Goodbye to jai alai". St. Petersburg Times. 
  3. ^ de Quesada, Alejando M. (1997). World War II in Tampa Bay. Dover, NH: Arcadia. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-7524-0888-0.