State Road 589 follows the Veterans Expressway north from SR 60 (Memorial Highway) and Tampa International Airport (TPA) through Hillsborough County to Lutz. The Suncoast Parkway extends SR 589 north from the Veterans Expressway spur (SR 568) to Dale Mabry Highway (SR 597), through Pasco and Hernando Counties to U.S. 98 northwest of Brooksville. Operated by Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, the Veterans Expressway uses all electronic toll (AET) collection while cash toll collection is an option along the Suncoast Parkway.

Expanded to six general purpose lanes with two Express Toll lanes, the 17 mile long Veterans Expressway generally serves commmuter traffic between Tampa, Westchase, Carrollwood, Northdale and Lutz. It seamlessly transitions to the Suncoast Parkway south of Van Dyke Road (CR 685A), which continues SR 589 north to Land O'Lakes. Beyond SR 52 in Pasco County, commuter traffic tapers off, with the Parkway north to Spring Hill and Brooksville more lightly traveled.

Florida 589 Highway Guides

Years in planning, the tolled Veterans Parkway is the final alignment for a long-proposed freeway corridor northwest of Tampa. Other alignments considered for this freeway included the Dale Mabry Highway corridor, which would have been prohibitively expensive. After much design and community outreach, a decision was made in January 1987 to use the current Veterans Expressway corridor. This freeway extended from Florida 60 north to Lutz, and it was completed between August 1992 and September 1994.

The Suncoast Parkway extends State Road 589 northward through Pasco County to Brooksville and U.S. 98 near the Citrus County line. Work commenced on the toll road in summer of 1998 as part of a two phase $507-million project. The first phase was finished in February 2001 between the Veterans Expressway and SR 50 between Weeki Wachee and Brooksville. Completion followed in August 2001 to U.S. 98.1

Tolls charged on the Veterans Expressway and Suncoast Parkway increased by 25% on June 24, 2012 along side hikes on other Florida's Turnpike Enterprise roadways. The toll addition funded improvements including additional lanes in congested areas, conversion of outdated toll plazas to all electronic toll collection and system wide interchange improvements.3

Like all Florida toll roads, Florida 589 uses the SunPass electronic toll collection system with open road tolling at all Suncoast Parkway plazas. Cash toll collection ended on the Veterans Expressway in mid-2014. A $380 million project wrapping up in spring 2018 upgraded an 11 mile section of the Veterans Expressway. Work rebuilt the entire roadway, with widening of the expressway from four to eight lanes between SR 60 (Memorial Highway) and CR 587 (Gunn Highway), and provisions to expand the road north from Gunn Highway to Van Dyke Road (CR 685A) to eight lanes.6 The lane additions include an Express Toll Lane, with limited ingress and egress points, along each direction of SR 589. The higher toll rates for the Express Lanes vary depending upon traffic flow on the general travel lanes.

Additionally, the two main line toll plazas were removed and replaced with AET gantries. The wye interchange with Anderson Road was also reconfigured to eliminate left-hand ramps. Overall 38 bridges were reconstructed and three new bridges added.6 Partitioned into 11 separate projects, the three phase improvement project was as follows:4

  • Phase I - Florida 60 to Gunn Highway (Exit 9) Completion in 2015 and 2016
  • Phase II - Gunn Highway (Exit 9) to Sugarwood Toll Plaza Funding in Fiscal Year 2014
  • Phase III - Sugarwood Toll Plaza to Van Dyke Road (Exit 14) Funding in Fiscal Year 2015

The Veterans Express Lanes run northbound from SR 580 (Hillsborough Avenue) to SR 568 (Dale Mabry Highway connector) and southbound from SR 568 to Memorial Highway (CR 576). An ingress and egress point is located between Wilsky Boulevard (Exit 8) and Gunn Highway (Exit 9). The first phase of the Express Lanes opened to traffic on December 9, 2017 between Hillsborough Avenue and Gunn Highway. The second phase, extending north three miles to SR 568, will open in spring 2018.

Suncoast Parkway 2

Previously thought to start in spring 2016 and finish in 2019,2 construction to lengthen the Suncoast Parkway north from U.S. 98 to State Road 44 east of Crystal River got underway on February 12, 2018. The $134.6 million project builds 13 miles of the planned 27 mile Suncoast 2 extension. As part of the parkway expansion, full interchanges will be constructed at U.S. 98 and Cardinal Street with a half-diamond interchange at State Road 44. The multi-use Suncoast Trail will also be extended. Work runs through March 3, 2022.5

The second phase of the Suncoast 2 extension, from SR 44 to County Road 486 remains planned, but beyond right of way acquisition, no formal construction schedule is in place.5 Any future extension of the Suncoast Parkway northward beyond CR 486 into Levy County or northeast to I-75 remains unfunded at this time.


Florida 589 scenes
The on-ramp from Eisenhower Boulevard north onto the Veterans Expressway. The non-standard SR 589 Toll trailblazer pictured here was replaced by 2011. Photo taken 03/25/07.

Sources:

  1. Florida's Turnpike - System Description, accessed March 6, 2014.
  2. Suncoast Parkway 2, accessed November 17, 2015.
  3. "Florida tolls to rise June 24." Tampa Bay Times, June 16, 2012.
  4. Florida's Turnpike - Current Construction Projects, accessed February 6, 2014.
  5. "Parkway work starts Feb. 12." Citrus County Chronicle (Crystal River, FL), January 15, 2018.
  6. Veterans Expressway Widening And Conversion To All-electronic Tolling (Mileposts 3-14). Construction - Florida's Turnpike web site. access February 17, 2018.
  7. "Express lanes set to open on Veterans. They’re free -- for now." Tampa Bay Times (FL), December 8, 2017.


Photo Credits:

03/25/07 by AARoads

Connect with:
U.S. 98
Florida 50
Florida 52
Florida 54
Florida 60
Florida 580
Florida 568 - Veterans Expressway
Hernando County 574 - Spring Hill Drive
Hernando County 578 - County Line Road

Page Updated 04-10-2018.