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    Hearing on Gandy plan scheduled

    By SUSAN THURSTON, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published October 4, 2002

    TAMPA -- State Sen. Jim Sebesta, R-St. Petersburg, will hold a public meeting on Monday to unveil his long-awaited proposal for the Gandy Connector.

    Sebesta, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, said the plan would solve traffic needs without destroying neighborhoods along Gandy Boulevard.

    The meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. at Robinson High School, 6311 S Lois Ave. Residents and officials from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties are invited to attend.

    Sebesta will be joined by Ken Hartmann, state transportation secretary for the district covering the two counties, and Pat McCue, executive director of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority.

    Sebesta announced in August he was working on a plan, but would not give details until he reviewed it with the Florida Department of Transportation.

    The state wants to connect the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway and the Gandy Bridge, but faces heavy criticism from neighbors and Hillsborough County commissioners. They say the two options -- an elevated highway or a bypass -- would destroy the communities.

    Earlier this week, McCue said he has his own idea for Gandy, and he hopes to work with Sebesta to make it happen. His agency owns the Crosstown.

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