Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s (PSTA) board unanimously voted to approve a contract with David Nelson Construction to build Tampa Bay’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) system.
The BRT project, dubbed the SunRunner, will connect St. Petersburg to the county’s world-famous beaches. The line will feature semi-dedicated lanes, limited stops, and safety enhancements for riders including level boarding platforms. The 10.3-mile line will include 16 stops with buses running every 15 minutes taking you from downtown to the beach or vice versa in less than 35 minutes.
Over the past 15 years, David Nelson Construction has worked with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as well as many cities and counties within the Tampa Bay Region. In addition to countless roadway projects of all sizes, including widening of 2.5 miles of I-275 in Tampa, reconstruction of two miles of SR 54 in Pasco County, and four miles of Keystone Road in Pinellas County, Nelson Construction has completed site work for numerous projects for commercial retail, schools and hospitals, city streetscapes, and parks, as well as major runway paving and repair projects for Tampa International Airport and MacDill Air Force Base.
The FTA recently announced a $21.8 million grant to PSTA for the SunRunner project. The federal money comes from FTA’s Capital Investment Grant program. The grant, combined with Florida Department of Transportation’s New Starts Program and Design Grant, plus contributions made by the City of St. Petersburg and PSTA, will fund the entire project costing $43.93 million.
Construction of the SunRunner is expected to be complete in early 2022.