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Selmon's restaurant to buy toll road signs

By Kevin Graham
Published January 25, 2007


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TAMPA - The board that oversees Hillsborough's toll roads has begun negotiating for new signs for the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway - which would be purchased by the owners of the Selmon's restaurant chain.

OSI Restaurant Partners Inc., which owns Lee Roy Selmon's All-American Grill, presented a letter this week to the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority with a $250,000 plan to replace 240 signs that direct motorists to the toll road and also are posted along its route, said authority spokeswoman Diane Jones.

She said a study done in 2000 by construction company URS Corp. suggested having "standardized signage on the roadway" because they had no uniformed look. But the agency had no budget for the task, Jones said.

She said OSI approached the Expressway Authority two years ago wanting to work together on a project, and Martin Stone, the authority's planning director, suggested the signs to them.

"This is an example of a public-private partnership that will benefit the Tampa community," Jones said. "OSI's interest is to do something of benefit for the community in a way that utilizes Lee Roy Selmon's name."

A design for the new signs has not been created, she said. When it has, the Expressway Authority and Florida Department of Transportation must approve it.

No time frame has been set for when they will be installed.

The plan includes adding another 70 signs for the expressway.

Kevin Graham can be reached at 813 226-3433 or kgraham@sptimes.com.

[Last modified January 25, 2007, 00:55:50]


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