Next week's Republican National Convention is expected to bring approximately 50,000 visitors to Tampa and drive delay times higher on the city's major roads by 18%, according to traffic intelligence company Inrix.
The Republican National Convention runs August 27-30 across various locations in Tampa. The major portion of the event will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, about eight blocks south of the heart of downtown. Lanes on Interstate 75 northbound are expected to be clogged with out-of-state visitors.
According to published reports, more than two dozen roads and streets, including a main expressway, will be closed to traffic. Others will temporarily be one-way lanes.
I-175/South Bay Drive: Interstate 175/South Bay Drive, including all entrance and exits ramps and pedestrian overpass, will be closed on Sunday, August 26, from 2 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.
Inrix, which crowd sources data from more than 100 million vehicles and devices to deliver traffic and driving-related insights, identified a number of likely problem areas, including:
- Routes South of Whiting Street will be closed, including the Platt Street Bridge and the part closure of the Selmon Expressway between Willow Avenue and 50th Street
- Traffic will likely reroute to the I-275 or Kennedy Boulevard with delays increasing to more than 25 minutes on the busiest days, from an average of 10 to 15 minutes
- Overall traffic volume will significantly rise, with 350 charter buses and more than 500 private vehicles expected, with no plans to set aside specialized lanes on the interstates
- Short traffic signals could bring downtown Tampa to a standstill, with the biggest concerns being traffic signals on Kennedy Boulevard and Ashley Drive
Road closures will start from Saturday, Aug. 25, and are anticipated to be lifted after 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31.
For more information, visit www.RNC-Traffic.com.