Florida State Road 589

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State Road 589 marker

State Road 589
Veterans Expressway
Suncoast Parkway
Route information
Maintained by Florida's Turnpike Enterprise
Length: 54.730 mi[1][2] (88.079 km)
Major junctions
South end: SR 60 in Tampa
  SR 54 in Odessa
SR 50 in Spring Hill
North end: US 98 near Sugarmill Woods
Location
Counties: Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando
Highway system
SR 586 SR 590

The Veterans Expressway and Suncoast Parkway (State Road 589) is a north–south toll road near the Florida Gulf Coast.[3][4] Maintained and operated by Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, this 57-mile (92 km) transportation corridor extends from State Road 60 in Tampa, north to U.S. Route 98 near Chassahowitzka. The Veterans Expressway was built to accommodate the increasing commuter traffic in the Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area, with the Suncoast Parkway opening in 2001, extending from near the northern terminus of the Veterans Expressway to U.S. Route 98, with a possible northern extension to U.S. Route 19/U.S. Route 98 in Crystal River in Citrus County in the planning and development stages.[5]

Route description[edit]

Veterans Expressway[edit]

The Veterans Expressway extends 15 miles (24 km) from State Road 60 (the Courtney Campbell Causeway) west of Tampa International Airport to State Road 597 (Dale Mabry Highway) in northern Hillsborough County. The southern two miles (3 km), between Courtney Campbell Causeway and Hillsborough Avenue (on the west side of Tampa International Airport), upgraded Eisenhower Boulevard to expressway standards with frontage roads and is not tolled. North of Hillsborough Avenue, the remaining 13 miles (21 km) are tolled.

Interchange construction in November 2008. The ramp from southbound SR 589 to Tampa International Airport opened in September 2008. Note that the southbound exit is now numbered as "1B".

Between Courtney Campbell Causeway and Dale Mabry Highway, intermediate interchanges are provided at Independence Parkway, Memorial Highway, Hillsborough Avenue, Waters Avenue, Anderson Road, Linebaugh Avenue/Wilsky Boulevard, Gunn Highway, Ehrlich Road, Hutchison Road and Van Dyke Road. There are two mainline SunPass gantries (Anderson and Sugarwood) and six ramp plazas.[6][7] The Veterans Expressway converted to all-electronic, cashless tolling in 2014. Drivers must have a SunPass or they will be billed with TOLL-BY-PLATE. The "N minus 1" formula is used for truck toll rate schedule.[citation needed]

Suncoast Parkway[edit]

The 42-mile-long Suncoast Parkway (SR 589) proceeds north from the Veterans Expressway to US 98 in Hernando County, Florida, near Chassahowitzka.[8] Drivers of automobiles traveling the entire length of the Suncoast Parkway pay $4.75 US toll.

The Suncoast Parkway is the first Florida's Turnpike Enterprise toll road to feature open road tolling. The three mainline toll plazas on the Suncoast Parkway feature bypasses where those paying cash remain on the mainline and stop at the toll plaza while those with Sunpass or related transponders exit the mainline roadway, bypass the toll plaza and then re-enter the mainline. This differs from other open road tolling locations in Florida where transponder users remain on the mainline and bypass toll booths built to the side.

Suncoast Trail[edit]

Scenic view along the upper portion of trail
J.B. Starkey Wilderness Trail

As part of the Suncoast Parkway project, a multi-use paved recreational trail called the Suncoast Trail was constructed parallel to the western side of the highway, and opened along with the Parkway itself in 2001.[9] The trail begins at Lutz-Lake Fern Road (Exit 16), and continues north for 41 miles to the highway's terminus at US 98. Four miles north of State Road 54, an additional 6.5-mile paved bicycle trail connects the Suncoast Trail to the J. B. Starkey Wilderness Park in New Port Richey. Use of the Suncoast Trail is free, but in late 2010, a $2.00 parking fee was implemented at the Lutz-Lake Fern (Hillsborough County) and State Route 54 (Pasco County) trailheads. Both counties offer annual passes, which are valid only within the county of issue. Motor vehicles are prohibited along the entire trail.

The Suncoast Trail bridge over SR 50 with the Suncoast Parkway in the background

For most of its length, the Suncoast Trail stays close to the parkway, separated by fences, grass, and in some places concrete barriers. Bridges that cross rivers and streams were built with enough width to accommodate trail users. Where roads cross above the parkway, particularly north of State Road 52, the trail briefly strays from the parkway, allowing users to cross the intersecting road at-grade.

Pedestrian and cyclist crossing of minor cross streets is regulated by posted signs. At busier intersections, pedestrian crossing signals are part of the traffic signal systems already in place. The notable exception is at the State Road 50 interchange near Brooksville, where a dedicated overpass has been constructed to cross State Road 50, approximately 500 feet west of the main parkway.

Tolls[edit]

The Veterans Expressway is an all electronic toll road and does not accept cash. It ceased cash collection in June of 2014.

The Suncoast Parkway was the first of the Florida's Turnpike Enterprise expressways to feature open road tolling when it opened in 2001. However, unlike roads that were later converted into open road tolling, the SunPass transponder users turn off on an off ramp and cash users stay on the mainline at toll plazas. Use of the entire highway costs $4.75.

History[edit]

Veterans Expressway[edit]

The Veterans Expressway is the north-south portion of what was the Northwest Hillsborough Expressway, originally proposed in the 1960s as the northwest beltway around Tampa's outer limits. As the plans finalized, the communities along the route grew, leading to rising land costs and opposition to the expressway dividing the towns. Lutz was especially vocal, eventually rallying state politicians to cancel the expressway construction altogether. By the mid-1980s, the expressway was broken in two segments, the Veterans Expressway and the Lutz Expressway. In the early 1990s, the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority began to build the Veterans Expressway, but was depleted of funds, leading to Florida's Turnpike Enterprise purchasing the right of way using the existing design to complete construction of the expressway. State Road 589 was designated the Veterans Expressway in 1992 and was completed in October 1994.

From its opening in 1994, the Veterans Expressway saw very little changes in its roadway configuration. When the Suncoast Parkway was constructed in 1998 (through 2001), the Van Dyke Road interchange was reconfigured.

Former sections[edit]

With the completion of the Suncoast Parkway in 2001, the stub of the Veterans Expressway from Exit 13 to Dale Mabry Highway was designated State Road 568.

Originally, State Road 589 was concurrent with State Road 60 between Exit 2A and Exit 1, then extended to West Spruce Street and Boy Scout Boulevard. These roads were re-designated as SR 616.

South of the southern terminus, SR 589 was planned to be branched off onto the West Crosstown Expressway and become part of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, at the Selmon Expressway's Exit 4. The West Crosstown was canceled due to a freeway revolt, and the SR 589 and SR 449 designations were eliminated from the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway.[citation needed]

Suncoast Parkway[edit]

Current north end of SR 589

Construction began on the Suncoast Parkway in 1998, and opened in 2001 in two stages at a cost of $507 million. The section from the Veterans Expressway to State Road 50 opened in February 2001 and the section from State Road 50 north to U.S. Route 98 opened in August 2001.

Tampa Airport Interchanges[edit]

Construction of the flyover that now carries traffic from Tampa International Airport to I-275 north and SR 60 east

In August 2005, a massive reconstruction project began on the interchanges between I-275 and Memorial Highway, near Tampa International Airport after being shelved for over fifteen years.[citation needed] The project consisted of a four-level stack interchange at the Spruce St Interchange, a three-level interchange at the Courtney Campbell Causeway, and an extensive auxiliary exit ramp system stretching from Independence Pkwy to just north of I-275. The first phase, dealing with the northbound lanes to the airport was completed on March 31, 2010 at a cost of $202 million.[10] The second phase, which upgrades the southbound lanes, is currently in the early design stages and there is currently no timetable set for construction.[citation needed]

Interchange construction in early 2008; the flyovers from SR 589 south to TIA, SR 589 south to SR 616 (Spruce St), and TIA to I-275 south during construction

The project has resulted in better access from southbound Veterans Expressway to the Courtney Campbell Causeway on State Road 60, the Airport to I-275 and the WestShore Business District.[11] According to the Florida Department of Transportation, the tallest flyover is 2,096 feet (639 m) long and 75 feet (23 m) high at its peak.[12]

As of August 2007 video cameras have been added on the road every 10th of a mile down the span of the toll road.

Widening of the Veterans Expressway and All-Electronic Tolling[edit]

This improvement project, which begun in May 2013, widens 11 miles of the Veterans Expressway between Memorial Hwy and Van Dyke Rd. The improvements, which are divided into five separate projects, double the capacity of the highway from four to eight lanes. Part of the widening improvements include reconstruction of 38 existing bridges and the building of three new bridges.

The widening project also includes a concurrent project to convert the section from Memorial Highway to Van Dyke Road to all-electronic tolling (AET) providing non-stop travel. In addition, the conversion of the Suncoast Parkway to AET is also included (expected to be converted by sometime in 2015),[13] thereby providing enhanced benefits to drivers using the entire Toll 589 corridor. The project introduces Express Lanes (also known as Managed Lanes) to the region. A congestion management tool (which is already in place along parts of I-95 and I-595 in Miami), Express Lanes offer motorists a choice that provides an opportunity for a faster through-trip, with greater trip reliability and safety. All-Electronic tolling is being implemented in segments while the widening project continues. This latter process began in June, 2014.

Currently, The Anderson Road exit is currently closed for reconstruction and slated to reopen in late fall 2014, weather permitting. On the night of June 13, 2014, the segment between Memorial Hwy and Gunn Hwy converted to All-Electronic Toll Collection.[14] On September 5, 2014, the segment between Gunn Hwy and Hutchison Rd was converted.[15]

Future[edit]

Suncoast Parkway Extension[edit]

With the Suncoast Parkway extension in Citrus County still unresolved, ten different alignments, with four southern segments, twelve central segments, and one northern segment, have been brought to attention regarding the parkway's routing. Regardless of the alignment (if selected and built), the list of proposed interchanges is as follows.[16]

Intersecting Roadway Notes
US 98 Current northern terminus. Four alignments are proposed for this interchange
Cardinal Street Four alignments are proposed for this interchange
SR 44 Three alignments are proposed for this interchange
CR 495 (North Citrus Avenue) One alignment is proposed for this interchange
US 19 / US 98 One alignment is proposed for this interchange

Critics of the Suncoast Parkway extension believe that such a plan would disrupt the quiet, undisturbed sections of Citrus County and bring forth more urban sprawl to the county. Furthermore, impacted residents fear that the parkway alignments come too close to their residences and will cause excessive noise and decreased property values.

The St. Petersburg Times reported on March 7, 2009 that the Suncoast Parkway extension project will be on hold indefinitely due to lower toll revenues resulting from the slow economy. The $140 million already allocated for the project will be spent on other projects and expenses instead.[17]

Exit list[edit]

County Location Mile[1][2] km Exit Destinations Notes
Hillsborough Tampa 0.000 0.000 -- SR 60 east to I‑275 – Tampa, St. Petersburg SR 589 north splits from SR 60 west here, but SR 589 south merges with SR 60 east at exit 2A
0.215 0.346 1A Tampa International Airport southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.236 0.380 1B SR 616 (Spruce Street) – Raymond James Stadium southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.918 1.477 2A SR 60 west – Clearwater north end of SR 60 east overlap (southbound only)
1.813 2.918 2B Independence Parkway northbound exit and southbound entrance
2.155 3.468 3 CR 576 (Memorial Highway) northbound exit is accessed by remaining on SR 60 west at the beginning of SR 589
Town 'n' Country 3.123 5.026 4 SR 580 (Hillsborough Avenue)
5.167 8.315 6A CR 584 (Waters Avenue)
5.776 9.296 6B Anderson Road northbound exit and southbound entrance. Temporarily closed due to widening project.
Anderson/Linebaugh Toll Gantry ($1.04 with SunPass, $1.30 with Toll-By-Plate)[18]
Citrus Park 6.734 10.837 7 Linebaugh Avenue west northbound exit and southbound entrance
7.332 11.800 8 Linebaugh Avenue via Wilsky Boulevard southbound exit and northbound entrance. Temporarily closed due to widening project.
8.823 14.199 9 CR 587 (Gunn Highway)
9.766 15.717 10 Ehrlich Road
Sugarwood Toll Gantry ($0.78 with SunPass, $1.04 with Toll-By-Plate)[19]
Northdale 11.699 18.828 12 Hutchison Road
13.218 21.272 13 To SR 597 (Dale Mabry Highway) (via SR 568 east) northbound exit and southbound entrance
  13.902 22.373 14 CR 685A (Van Dyke Road)
Keystone 15.964 25.692 16 CR 582 (Lutz Lake Fern Road) opened August 15, 2009[20][21]
Pasco Odessa 18.421 29.646 19 SR 54 – New Port Richey, Zephyrhills
  22.9 36.9 Anclote Toll Plaza
  24.9 40.1 CR 524 (Ridge Road) proposed interchange
  28.238 45.445 27 SR 52 – San Antonio, Dade City, New Port Richey
Shady Hills 33.0 53.1 Spring Hill Toll Plaza
Pasco
Hernando
  37.017 59.573 37 CR 578 (County Line Road)
Hernando Spring Hill 40.470 65.130 41 CR 574 – Spring Hill, Airport
44.232 71.185 46 SR 50 – Brooksville, Weeki Wachee
  53.1 85.5 Oak Hammock Toll Plaza
  54.730 88.079 -- US 98 (SR 700) – Crystal River
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Suncoast Parkway at Wikimedia Commons