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    I-275 airport exit closing for 5 nights

    Nighttime closings of the State Road 60 exit is to repair expansion joints, the DOT says.

    By CURTIS KRUEGER, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published April 17, 2003

    Heading to Tampa International Airport for a late-night flight?

    Planning to drive from St. Petersburg to the Veterans Expressway after 9 p.m.?

    Be prepared for a detour.

    The Florida Department of Transportation is closing the northbound Interstate 275 exit to State Road 60 in Tampa for five nights next week, so workers can repair expansion joints.

    That's the exit that takes drivers to Tampa International Airport, Memorial Highway and the Veterans Expressway.

    The closing of exit 39B would be a guaranteed traffic nightmare during rush hour, but DOT officials have planned this one for nighttime. The exit will be closed from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. from Monday through Friday, said Kris Carson, DOT spokeswoman.

    "It's to avoid the rush hours and do the work at night," Carson said. "We will have detour signs."

    Northbound drivers can get to the airport by exiting on Kennedy Boulevard, getting on State Road 60 west and following signs to Tampa International Airport.

    Airport spokeswoman Brenda Geoghagan said officials at TIA would put information about the closing on the airport Web site, and consider other ways of making sure air travelers are aware of the detour.

    Several scheduled flights leave the airport after 9 p.m., some as late as midnight, she said.

    "We'll definitely share it internally and see what we need to do to share it with the customers," Geoghagan said.

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