The I-4/Selmon Expressway Connector is a new north-south elevated toll interchange that connects the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway (SR618) to Interstate 4 in Tampa, Florida. Truck route lanes are now available for direct access to the Port Tampa Bay and will reduce heavy truck traffic from local roads in Ybor City and Palmetto Beach. The Connector Project was a partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Florida’s Turnpike, and the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) that provides a state-of-the-art toll facility with an all-electronic toll collection system.
Similar to other Interstate projects where the City of Tampa Art Program Division and FDOT partnered during design from 2006-2008, FDOT worked with representatives of the community to identify the appropriate location and medium. On March 14, 2014 the partnership for the Connector Project culminated with the installation of the artwork, shown here, at the entrance to the historic Palmetto Beach community. The art is displayed at the corner of Durham Street and 22nd Street; 22nd Street previously was the truck route from Interstate 4 to the Port Tampa Bay. Next month, lighting will be installed for the specialty wall to be seen at night.
Artist Stephen Hayford works with miniatures, creating dioramas that highlight communities. Whether focusing on individual people or entire neighborhoods, Hayford captures the unique in the familiar and provides the viewer with a new perspective that is both humorous and endearing. “I begin every project with the knowledge that most people are fascinated by miniatures. And sometimes the best way to form a new appreciation for where you live is to see it from a completely different perspective. I work on capturing the human essence of a community through observation. Witnessing very small moments, like a man waving from his porch, a postal carrier with an energetic step, and a woman carrying a covered pot to a home, inspires me to create narrative vignettes. The final image becomes a compilation of positive stories inspired by interactions seen in Palmetto Beach.”