One of the new Interstate 175 shields erected by none other than the City of St. Petersburg Engineering Department!  This is looking north on 3 St S; The Madison at St. Petersburg Condos is to the right.

Interstate 175 looking east towards downtown St. Petersburg.  Use 6 St S to reach Bayfront Medical Center or All Children's Hospital; 4 St S for other downtown St. Petersburg destinations 

03/11/12

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Interstate 175, also known as South Bay Drive

On This Page:

 

Introduction

Interstate 175 Eastbound

Interstate 175 Westbound

Perspective of Interstate 175 from Downtown St. Petersburg Streets

The Pedestrian Overpass Connecting Tropicana Field to Campbell Park

 

Introduction

Constructed in 1978 and opened in 1979 in two segments, Interstate 175 takes motorists to downtown St. Petersburg and to landmarks such as Tropicana Field (home of the Tampa Bay Rays), The Mahaffey Theater (which also used to house the Bayfront Center Arena, which was demolished in 2004), the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg Campus and Albert Whitted Airport, a small general aviation airport in Downtown St. Petersburg owned and operated by the City of St. Petersburg.  Motorists can also access the southeastern quadrant of St. Petersburg, including the annual Christmas Lights display and Coquina Key, by using 4 St S southbound after exiting Interstate 175.

The highway is a little longer than its Interstate 375 counterpart and it stops right at 4 St S.  The speed limit is reduced initially to 50 mph for much of the route, with an eventual reduction to 40 mph then to 30 mph at the end of the highway.  Like Interstate 375, Interstate 175 is sandwiched between 4 Av S and 5 Av S, which are one way city streets westbound and eastbound respectively.

Two of St. Petersburg's well known and highly respected hospitals, Bayfront Medical Center and All Children's Hospital, are reached from Interstate 175 at the 6 St S exit.  After exiting turn right at the first traffic signal, which is 6 St S; proceed south on 6 St S past 6 Av S and Bayfront Medical Center will be the first hospital to your right and All Children's Hospital will be the second hospital to your right.  You will also notice that a newer All Children's Hospital is under construction on the corner of 6 St S and 5 Av S.

If you are headed to Tropicana Field for a Tampa Bay Rays game or another event, you will want to exit at the Martin Luther King St S/8 St S exit and turn left at the second traffic signal, which is 8 St S.  North on 8 St S to 3 Av S; take another left and the stadium is straight ahead.  Be sure to monitor the variable message signs on Interstate 275 as well as Interstate 175 for parking advisories on game days.

If you are taking in a performance at The Mahaffey Theater, simply head east on 5 Av S right after you exit Interstate 175 at 4 St S all the way to 1 St S; the theater and its parking garage will be in front of you.  If you are headed to the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg Campus simply head east on 5 Av S after exiting Interstate 175 at 4 St S; turn right at 2 St S and the campus will be straight ahead after you cross 6 Av S.

Interstate 175 Eastbound

Mileage sign for Martin Luther King St S, 8 St S and 6 St S

Taken on the ramp to Interstate 175 eastbound from Interstate 275 southbound.  Notice the steeply banked ramp to the left and how the northbound lanes of Interstate 275 go over the ramp unlike its Interstate 375 counterpart.

Mileage sign for Martin Luther King St S, 8 St S and 6 St S II

This is taken on the ramp from Interstate 275 northbound onto Interstate 175 eastbound. Notice that the distance to 6 St S is 3/4 mile while on the other ramp it is one mile.

Signage for Martin Luther King St S and Tropicana Field is the next exit

To get to Tropicana Field, exit and turn left at the second traffic signal, 8 St S. Then another left at 3 Av S and you are there!

Signage for Martin Luther King St S and 8 St S

Notice the variable message sign to the right which is used not only for events at Tropicana Field but for Downtown St. Petersburg as well.

Final opportunity for Martin Luther King St S and 8 St S

Use this exit for Tropicana Field or south St. Petersburg. If you are headed for 6 St S or 4 St S, keep going.

Looking eastbound on Interstate 175 at the 6 St S exit

Two of St. Petersburg's well known and respected hospitals, Bayfront Medical Center and All Children's Hospital, are reached by exiting here and taking a right at 6 St S. If you are headed for elsewhere in Downtown St. Petersburg, keep going. We get our first indication that Interstate 175 will end soon at 2000 feet, so you may want to reduce your speed here.

Interstate 175 ends in 1000 feet

Taken just as we cross 6 St S. The intersection with 4 St S marks the end of Interstate 175.

Almost towards the end of Interstate 175 at 4 St N

Notice the signage for the Salvador Dali Museum which is (erroneously) the next right. The sign should read second right, as the Dali Museum is located on 3 St S south of the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg Campus. Also notice the substantial speed limit drop to 30 mph as Interstate 175 ends.

The end of Interstate 175 - almost

The overhead signage mounted on wires unofficially marks the end of Interstate 175. You will notice that there is no end signage for Interstate 175 unlike Interstate 375.

The end of Interstate 175

Interstate 175 ends at this traffic signal on 4 St S at 5 Av S. The University of South Florida's St. Petersburg Campus is to your right and you can reach other Downtown St. Petersburg landmarks by either proceeding east on 5 Av S or by turning north on 3 St S or 1 St S.

The Mahaffey Theater

The Mahaffey Theater and its parking garage are straight ahead. From here 5 Av S transitions into Bayshore Dr S.

St. Petersburg Celebrates the Rays!

This banner was erected by the Tampa Bay Rays on the pedestrian bridge in honor of the team winning the 2008 American League championship and playing in the World Series. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay lost to Philadelphia in the World Series. But our team made a considerable comeback!

Interstate 175 Westbound

Entrance to Westbound Interstate 175

Interstate 175 begins its westward journey to Interstate 275 here at 4 St S. Notice the two right turn lanes which become the two westbound lanes of Interstate 175.

Speed Limit 40 mph

Interstate 175 westbound starts out with a 40 mph speed limit, which increases just after you pass Martin Luther King St S. This is right after you make the turn from 4 St S.

Reassurance Shield for Interstate 175 West

In the background is the entrance ramp from 6 St S. Once you enter Interstate 175 at 4 St S, 6 St S or Martin Luther King St S there is no exit until after you get onto Interstate 275.

Martin Luther King St S Overcrossing

Right after this overcrossing Interstate 175 will see two more lanes added as a result of the on ramp from Martin Luther King St S. Moreover, the speed limit increases from 40 mph to 50 mph. Notice the enormous amount of dirt that had to be excavated for construction; after all, we are on a slight ridge much like Interstate 275 at 54 Av N (Exit 26).

First signage for Interstate 275

Use the left lanes for southbound Interstate 275 to Bradenton or the right lanes for northbound Interstate 275 to Tampa. Notice the signs mounted on the pedestrian overpass that connects Tropicana Field with Campbell Park.

Final opportunity for Interstate 275

At this point, Interstate 175 ends here with the two left lanes branching onto southbound Interstate 275 to Bradenton and the two right lanes branching onto northbound Interstate 275 to Tampa.

On the ramp to Northbound Interstate 275

The ramp to northbound Interstate 275 is two lanes which will fold into one lane just before the merge onto Interstate 275. In the background is signage for 28 St S (Exit 21) from southbound Interstate 275.

The transition from one highway to another

The high flyover overpass in the foreground is the northbound lanes of Interstate 275, and we will go under these lanes to enter Interstate 275 in the left lane. The right lane will end just after going under the overpass.

Merging onto Interstate 275 northbound

Notice that you enter Interstate 275 northbound in the left lane as this is a free flow merge here. Notice the lane added diamond warning sign to the right. This used to be two lanes when the highway opened in 1978; however, as Interstate 275 progressed southward the lanes had to be restriped to help eliminate lane change movements on the Interstate 275 mainline.

Right Lane Ends 200 Feet

The right lane will end in 200 feet as westbound Interstate 175 merges onto southbound Interstate 275. Like its northbound counterpart, the left lane merges onto Interstate 275 south as a free flow merge.

Perspective of Interstate 175 from Downtown St. Petersburg Streets

Interstate 175 Trailblazer

Here is a closeup view of an Interstate 175 trailblazer sign assembly, taken on 3 St S south of 4 Av S.

Junction FL 687 North

Starting at 5 Av S, FL 687 is part of 4th Street and 3rd Street in Downtown St. Petersburg and blends into 4 St N at 5 Av N. The multiplex with US 92 starts at 5 Av N and both routes are co-signed all the way to Gandy Blvd. At Gandy Blvd. US 92 crosses the Gandy Bridge while FL 687 stays with 4 St N all the way to northbound Interstate 275. This is looking east on 5 Av S, also known as FL 594 for only one block.

End FL 594 East

FL 594 may be the shortest state road as it runs only one block eastbound on 5 Av S. However, FL 594 is also Interstate 175's designation in the paperwork of the Florida DOT. All interstate highways in Florida have a state road designation for the purpose of maintenance and accident reporting.

Intersection of 5 Av S and 3 St S

Here we see one of the many new mast arm traffic signals that were installed as part of a City of St. Petersburg project as part of a Florida DOT Local Assistance Program grant. In the foreground you can see The Beacon Condominiums (the taller building) while in the background you can see The Madison at St. Petersburg Condominiums. This is looking north on 3 St S.

Southbound on 4 St S

Here we see another of the many new mast arm traffic signals installed in the Downtown St. Petersburg area. This is where FL 687 ends and 4 St S continues under City of St. Petersburg maintenance.

Directional Trailblazer for Westbound Interstate 175

Taken on 6 St S looking south. You can see the overpasses for Interstate 175 as well as the new All Children's Hospital in the background.

Set of overpasses carrying Interstate 175

Looking south on 6 St S, these overpasses carry the westbound and eastbound lanes of Interstate 175 respectively.

Between the overpasses of Interstate 175

Taken on 6 St S.  This is looking west.

Another view of underneath Interstate 175

This is Interstate 175 westbound as it crosses 6 St S. Check out the mammoth two-column piers that support the roadway. The sign mounted on one of the columns is a sign warning transients and anyone else not to use the overpass as their makeshift home.

Another view of Interstate 175 at 6 St S

This is on 6 St S looking north towards Downtown St. Petersburg.

Another directional trailblazer assembly for Interstate 175 westbound

This is also on 6 St S looking north. Those that work at Bayfront Medical Center or All Children's Hospital or any of the medical office buildings surrounding the hospitals can enter Interstate 175 here for direct connection to Interstate 275. Notice on the bottom that there is a "To 275" sign; wouldn't an Interstate 275 shield be better?

Yet another directional trailblazer for westbound Interstate 175

This trailblazer points motorists in the direction of westbound Interstate 175 from northbound 6 St S.

End Interstate 175 coming up

This is seen from 5 Av S just west of 6 St S. Notice the new signage which was replaced as part of a concrete rehabilitation project on Interstate 175 not too long ago.

Overheads for 6 St S

Taken on 5 Av S looking east, this span wire mounted overhead directs motorists onto 6 St S coming from the Interstate 175 exit.

Overheads for 6 St S and 4 St S

Seen from the Martin Luther King St S overcrossing looking east. The signs are mounted on the 8 St S overcrossing.

Overheads for 6 St S and 4 St S II

This is a side view as seen from 5 Av S and 8 St S. Again notice the newer signage which was installed as part of a recent concrete rehabilitation project.

6 St S at 4 Av S

Notice the difference as to how the traffic signals are mounted on span wire as opposed to mast arms. This is taken on 6 St S looking north.

Looking south on 6 St S

Here you can see the covered walkway that will connect the new All Children's Hospital with a medical office building and to Bayfront Medical Center via yet another covered walkway. Bayfront's ER is located just south of the new walkway past 6 Av S.

Bayfront Medical Center

A St. Petersburg landmark for many years, Bayfront Medical Center started out as Mound Park Hospital as one small building and, many years later, the hospital has grown by leaps and bounds. Here you can see the newly renovated east entrance with the main entrance to the left and the ER entrance to the right (not pictured)

All Children's Hospital

Founded in 1926 as the American Legion Hospital for Crippled Children, All Children's Hospital is the only specialty one of a kind children's hospital serving not only the Tampa Bay area but the West Coast of Florida as well. Children who need medical care come to All Children's for treatment, and there is a Ronald McDonald House nearby for parents of children who have traveled a great distance. In the foreground is the building constructed in the 1960's.

All Children's Hospital Part II

Here you see a covered walkway that connects the hospital with a pediatric medical office building, as well as the entrance which was redone many years ago. Today it is unknown what All Children's will do to this building once they are settled into their new quarters just north of where I took this photo on 6 St S and 8 Av S.

Signage for Interstates 175 and 275

This is seen on Martin Luther King St S looking south. Notice the South Bay Drive moniker on the sign.

On Ramp to Interstate 175 from Martin Luther King St S

The two lanes on this on ramp form the right two through lanes on the Interstate 175 mainline.

Bridge No. 150171

That is the official identification of the overpass which carries Martin Luther King St S over Interstate 175 in the Florida DOT bridge inventory. All bridges in Florida carry an identification number assigned by the Florida DOT for the purpose of recordkeeping and maintenance. Also notice the former 9 St S moniker etched into the railing as Martin Luther King St S used to be 9 St S when the overpass was built in 1978.

Looking west on Interstate 175

Seen from the Martin Luther King St S overcrossing. You can see Tropicana Field to the right.

Expansion joint

Here on the Martin Luther King St S overcrossing you can see the metal expansion joint which enables the overcrossing to expand and contract depending on the weather. This expansion joint marks the center median of Interstate 175 below where a four column pier stands. All bridges have expansion joints which enable a bridge to expand or contract depending on the time of year.

Looking south on Martin Luther King St S

Notice the curved fence attached to the railing which was installed during the Interstate 175 concrete rehabilitation project not too long ago. The curved fence is a safety and security feature as it primarily prevents mischievous pedestrians from throwing things onto the high speed highway below.

Year of construction

Etched into the southern end of the Martin Luther King St S overcrossing is the year it was built, 1978.

Interstate 175 at 16 St S

This time Interstate 175 assumes a position where the highway goes over rather than under the side street. This is looking south on 16 St S. The intersection in the foreground is actually 4 Av S, a one way street going west to 16 St S; west of 16 St S the street becomes 5 Av S as a two-way minor 4-lane road.

Interstate 175 at 16 St S II

This is 16 St S looking north. The intersection in the foreground is that of 5 Av S which continues this designation going east.

Between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 175

Notice the gigantic concrete columnar pillars holding up the highway as it intersects with Interstate 275. This was taken underneath Interstate 175 at 16 St S.

Life underneath the eastbound lanes of Interstate 175

In the background are two sets of three column piers that hold up the entrance ramps from Interstate 275, while in the foreground is a five column pier as the two entrance ramps merge together to make up eastbound Interstate 175. This is also taken under Interstate 175 at 16 St S.

View of Tropicana Field

A great view of Tropicana Field as seen from the intersection of 16 St S and 4 Av S. After all, Tropicana Field is the home of the Tampa Bay Rays!

The Pedestrian Overpass Connecting Tropicana Field to Campbell Park

At the same time Interstate 175 was constructed, a pedestrian overpass was constructed that connects Tropicana Field (which was the old Gas Plant neighborhood back then) with Campbell Park.  Campbell Park is a multi-purpose recreational park featuring a baseball diamond, picnic shelters and a recreation center.  Adjacent to Campbell Park is Campbell Park Elementary School, which is a marine themed elementary school.

Residents who live in the area surrounding Campbell Park can easily walk to Tropicana Field seamlessly by using the pedestrian overpass, which obviates the need to cross Interstate 175 at 16 St S or Martin Luther King St S.

The southern end of the pedestrian overpass

Notice how it is gradually sloped and not as steep as its counterpart on Interstate 275 north of 22 Av N.

Not only the pedestrian overpass crosses Interstate 175

It also crosses 5 Av S so that pedestrians can have a safe crossing between Tropicana Field and Campbell Park.

View of Campbell Park

In the background you can see Campbell Park Elementary School.

Ascending the pedestrian overpass

Doesn't it give you a reminder of the old Sunshine Skyway's cantilever span as you ascend towards the top and the steel span is in front of you? After all, this is just a pedestrian overpass crossing Interstate 175 and there is no steel grid deck, thank goodness.

Entering the pedestrian overpass

Like all pedestrian overpasses in Florida, it is completely fenced in as a safety and security measure. Additionally, notice the barbed wire on the top which is intended to keep anyone from climbing on top of the fence structure.

Looking east on 5 Av S

This is seen from the pedestrian overpass.

Inside the pedestrian overpass

We are just a quarter of the way across, somewhere between 5 Av S and the eastbound lanes of Interstate 175.

Looking east on Interstate 175

You get a good view of how the four eastbound lanes divide into two, with the right lanes being the off ramp for Martin Luther King St S/8 St S and the left lanes being the through eastbound lanes for Interstate 175. Notice the concrete wall to the right, which is used instead of a fence.

Looking east on Interstate 175 II

This time we are looking straight at the two left through lanes which will continue until Interstate 175 ends at 4 St S.

Looking east at the westbound lanes

Here you see where the two lanes coming from the on ramp from Martin Luther King St S merge together with the two through lanes of westbound Interstate 175.

Looking west on Interstate 175

Here you can see a closeup of the overhead signage for Interstate 275 for Bradenton and Tampa. Just past this overhead signage the four lanes divide off into two lanes each as high speed ramps.

Looking west in the eastbound lanes

In the background you can see the partial overhead fixed sign for Martin Luther King St S/8 St S and the variable message sign.

Headed downhill

We are coming out of the totally fenced section and we will make our gradual descent to 4 Av S.

Tropicana Field

The northern end of the pedestrian overpass offers a splendid view of Tropicana Field as you descend towards 4 Av S.

Headed down the ramp

Notice how the slope of the ramp is gradual and not as steep as the pedestrian overpass on Interstate 275 north of 22 Av N is. In the background you can see the westbound lanes of Interstate 175.

Onto 4 Av S

This is where the pedestrian overpass ends with a crosswalk crossing 4 Av S providing access to Tropicana Field. Notice the speeding fines reminder sign for 4 Av S traffic in the foreground as there is a construction project ahead past 16 St S.

Closeups of Interstate 275 signage

This was taken in the grassy area immediately adjacent to the pedestrian overpass and this signage is for westbound Interstate 175 traffic. Notice the use of the pedestrian bridge for the signs rather than a separate gantry.

Closeups of Martin Luther King St S/4 St S signage

This is seen from 4 Av S adjacent to the entrance of the pedestrian bridge. This signage faces eastbound Interstate 175 traffic.

Closeups of Martin Luther King St S/4 St S signage II

This time, I took this from a different angle on the 5 Av S side.

Closeup of the Martin Luther King St S/8 St S signage

This sign is new as it replaced the original 1978 button copy signage when it used to read the former 9 St S designation. The signage was erected as part of a recent Interstate 175 concrete rehabilitation project which included sign replacement.

Closeup of the FL 687/4 St S signage

Like the Martin Luther King St S signage mentioned in the previous photo, the signage for FL 687/4 St S is new as well. However, I think the signage should have read "To FL 687 4 St S and 3 St S" as 4 St S is one way southbound and Florida DOT maintenance ends at 5 Av S; FL 687 northbound begins on 3 St S at 5 Av S.

 

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