Exit 26: 54th Avenue North
The third segment of Interstate 275 brought the highway from just south of Gandy Blvd. to a point just south of 50 Av N. 54 Av N was reconstructed as a four-lane road with a divided section from Haines Road to 16 St N. Haines Road was realigned with 50 Av N to better serve the residents of the surrounding area. Originally this exit was slated to be located at 62 Av N; however, traffic volume at the time when Interstate 275 was proposed did not justify an interchange at 62 Av N as well as the hilly terrain in the area. Instead, 54 Av N was selected.
54 Av N features a double exit northbound and double entrance southbound ramp system, as well as a single entrance northbound and single exit southbound for a full service interchange. Motorists headed westbound on 54 Av N can access Lealman (an unincorporated community sandwiched in between St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park) and Kenneth City as well as Northside Hospital and Tampa Bay Heart Institute. On the other hand, motorists headed eastbound on 54 Av N can access the public school complex consisting of Sexton Elementary School, Northeast High School and Meadowlawn Middle School (via 16 St N).
Ever wonder why one of the southbound lanes of Interstate 275 as it passes under 54 Av N has to be repaired before the 2005 concrete rehabilitation project? You may be interested to know that the two right southbound lanes as Interstate 275 passes under 54 Av N were constructed on top of a spring, which feeds into a nearby lake and eventually into Joe's Creek.