Interstate 175 Florida

Routing

Interstate 175 (South Bay Drive) constitutes the southern freeway spur connecting I-275 with Tropicana Field and Downtown St. Petersburg. The second shortest Interstate in Florida, I-175 is only one-tenth of a mile longer than nearby Interstate 375 (North Bay Drive). The freeway doubles as Florida State Road 594, which extends one block east of the freeway end to SR 687 (3rd Street South) north.

History

When Interstate 75 was relocated to the east Tampa bypass in Hillsborough County in the late 1970s, five miles of eligible Interstate mileage became available for use elsewhere in Florida. Some of this unused mileage was allocated for the South Bay Drive spur to Downtown St. Petersburg (Interstate 175).

South Bay Drive was constructed in tandem with North Bay Drive (I-375) in two phases between 1977 and 1980. Work on the final link for the freeway, between 9th Street South (Martin Luther King Jr. Street) and 4th Street South, commenced in 1977.1 Interstate 175 fully opened to traffic by April 23, 1980 at a cost of $5.5-million. However it was not officially included in the Interstate System until November 1982.2

Highway Guides

Western Terminus - Interstate 275 - St. Petersburg, Florida
Perspective from Interstate 175 west
Spanning 16th Street South, Interstate 175 westbound separates with two lanes for both I-275 north to Tampa and I-275 south to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and Bradenton (via U.S. 19). Photo taken 07/10/11.
The connection to Interstate 275 south merges on the left side of the freeway mainline prior to the half diamond interchange with 28th Street South. Photo taken 07/30/06.
Perspective from Interstate 275 south
Traveling along a viaduct over the St. Petersburg street grid, Interstate 275 advances a half mile south to the three wye interchange (Exit 22) with I-175 (South Bay Drive) east. Photo taken 05/28/14.
A weaving traffic pattern unfolds along I-275 south between the adjacent exchanges with I-375 (North Bay Drive) and the left exit for Interstate 175 east. Photo taken 05/28/14.
Southbound I-275 reduces to two lanes with the lane drop for Interstate 175 east at Exit 22. The ensuing stretch of I-275 winds through South St. Petersburg to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge into Manatee County. Photo taken 05/28/14.
Perspective from Interstate 275 north
Passing over 28th Street South, 0.75 miles ahead of Interstate 175 (South Bay Drive) east on I-275 northbound. Interstates 175 and 375 depart within three quarter miles of each other along the periphery of Downtown St. Petersburg. Photo taken 07/06/13.
A lane drop occurs along Interstate 275 north for I-175 east at Exit 22. In addition to connecting I-275 with Tropicana Field, South Bay Drive leads east toward Mahaffey Theater, the Salvador Dali Museum and Albert Whitted Airport (SPG). Photo taken 07/06/13.
Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, lies within the northeast quadrant of the I-275/175 exchange. Nearby ramps connect I-175 with MLK, Jr. Street to the ball park and 6th Street South to USF St. Petersburg. Photo taken 01/12/14.
Eastern Terminus - Florida 687 - St. Petersburg, Florida
Perspective from Interstate 175 east
Spanning 6th Street South, 1,000 feet remain along Interstate 175 east before the transition onto 5th Avenue South (SR 594) at SR 687 (4th Street South). Photo taken 07/10/11.
Two lanes lower to grade level and combine with 5th Avenue South ahead of USF St. Petersburg and the south end of SR 687 (4th Street South). Photo taken 07/30/06.
SR 594 extends east from the end of I-175 one block to SR 687 (3rd Street North) northbound. The Dali Museum lies an additional two blocks further along 5th Avenue South. Photo taken 07/10/11.
Perspective from Florida 687 (4th Street South) south
State Road 687 (4th Street South) reaches the entrance ramp to Interstate 175 west at Delmar Terrace South. Two lanes depart for the 1.44-mile long connector to Interstate 275. SR 687 ends at the adjacent intersection with 5th Avenue South (SR 594) while 4th Street South continues into the Bartlett Park neighborhood. Photo taken 07/10/11.

Sources:

  1. "I-275 south feeder is open downtown." St. Petersburg Times, July 24, 1980.
  2. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Route Numbering Committee Meeting, November 19, 1982 (document).

Page Updated August 21, 2014.