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Oops! Tampa Bay Motorists Make Unexpected Trip Over Howard Frankland Bridge


Oops! Tampa Bay Motorists Make Unexpected Trip Over Howard Frankland Bridge

Tampa Bay residents know well the headache of construction and resulting traffic and detours, but a group of motorists on Monday night (September 30) ended up with a much more complicated (and lengthy) journey than usual when they were accidentally redirected across the renowned Howard Frankland Bridge toward St. Petersburg (read more about it here). Thanks to construction, traffic leaving Tampa International Airport was supposed to be directed to a detour on Spruce Street, but even with signs, it was easy to miss the memo and many drivers ended up missing the exit, with the only alternative being the I-275 exit. As those of us who live in Tampa know, once you’re on the bridge there is no turning back until you get to the other side, so to say this was inconvenient for drivers is an understatement. Thankfully, motorists were able to make it across the bridge and find a place to turn around without any major incidents or issues (other than lost time and gas mileage) but the whole scenario reminded us of a few pointers for you as you hit the highways were you live. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen when it comes to detours, and whether they be your fault or the fault of the department of transportation, you need to know how to safely handle them, and what not to do.


  • If you find yourself headed toward the wrong exit, don’t make a sudden stop or attempt to turn around in the road. Instead, take the nearest safe exit and find a place to pull over and regroup.
  • When you’ve missed your exit, or you’re in the middle of an unfamiliar detour, don’t fumble with your phone’s GPS or traffic app trying to figure out what to do next. Continue on the detour until the next safe place to pull over, and then use your phone to figure out the best steps to take next that will get you to your intended destination.
  • Do pay close attention to any and all signs and signals that you see when you’re in an area where construction is underway. Often, especially in heavy traffic, it can be easy to miss signs letting you know which upcoming street will best serve as your alternative route, and signals are used to alert motorists to changes in roads. Missing one of these can send you in an entirely wrong direction, so being alert is key.
  • Do stay calm and keep a clear mind. As silly as it may seem now, when you find yourself in the middle of stressful traffic, being detoured or not knowing which road to take can be anxiety-inducing and lead to poor decision making and costly mistakes (like an accident or a ticket).

Sessums Law Group understands that traffic accidents happen where and when you least expect them. We don’t just serve Tampa Bay, but we live here too! When the unexpected comes your way, we represent you by not just standing behind you, but STANDING FOR YOU, as we seek to get the desired results and the compensation you need following your accident. Call us with your questions and to make an appointment to discuss your case.

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