Interstate 275 St. Petersburg

Pinellas Point Drive South (Exit 16) to 4th Street North/FL 687 (Exit 32)

Thinking about taking a ride on Interstate 275 through St. Petersburg through the screens of your computer, rather than actually being there? Well, you have come to the right place!

On our tour of Interstate 275 through St. Petersburg , I'll show you the signs and sights as we make progress through the Sunshine City we call St. Petersburg. We'll make a few stops along the way including downtown St. Petersburg and Tropicana Field. As we make our way through St. Petersburg on Interstate 275, I'll point out some interesting points of interest easily reachable from convenient exits.

A History of Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg

But first, let's start out with a history of Interstate 275, taken from my knowledge of Florida Department of Transportation documents kept on file at the City of St. Petersburg Engineering & Capital Improvements Department, where I work. In addition, I wrote a term paper on the nation's interstate highway system for an American National Government class I took at St. Petersburg College (which was called St. Petersburg Junior College back then) in the early part of 1987, just before I got my AS degree in Word Processing Management.

In 1960, the Howard Frankland Bridge was completed making the third crossing over Tampa Bay a reality and bringing the expansion of what was originally Interstate 4 into St. Petersburg. The original plans for the expansion of Interstate 4, according to Robert Droz's website, called for its terminus to be in South Pasadena. The late 1960's saw the opening of Interstate 75 through Tampa and northward through the state; Interstate 4 was truncated at what we Tampa Bay residents call today "Malfunction Junction", according to Droz. Later, a planned Interstate 75E - which would become today's Interstate 75 - would bypass the Tampa metro area and connect points south as far as Naples and link up with Alligator Alley for the trip to Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, stopping short of Miami at FL 826 in Hialeah. It was built in the late 1970's and early 1980's; it caused Interstate 75 to be rerouted along this new corridor and the part of Interstate 75 that went through Tampa and was proposed to run through St. Petersburg became Interstate 275.

A three digit interstate route number, according to Kurumi's web site, is reserved for routes that bypass metropolitan areas of cities.  Such was not the case with Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg .  According to my limited knowledge on this subject, the Florida DOT did this in the name of discouraging through truck traffic, keeping through truck traffic headed south on the bypass route.

According to my personal knowledge and Droz's web site, construction on Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg began in the early 1970's at Roosevelt Blvd (Exit 30), progressing southward over Gandy Blvd. (Exit 28), 54th Avenue North (Exit 26) and culminating at 38th Avenue North (Exit 25) in 1973.  I-275 was extended to 22nd Avenue North (Exit 24) in 1974, and to 5th Avenue North (Exit 23B) in 1975.  The Interstate 375 North Bay Drive connector was built in 1977, the long overpass bridge connecting I-375 and I-175 on I-275 was completed in 1977 as well.  1978 saw the construction of the Interstate 175 South Bay Drive connector, and Interstate 275 was constructed just east of 28th Street South (Exit 21) in 1979.  After a few delays over land acquisition, construction resumed on Interstate 275 to just south of 26th Avenue South (Exit 18) at 39th Avenue South in 1980-1981.  In 1983 Interstate 275 was extended to 54th Avenue South (Exit 17), and the final section of Interstate 275 was constructed in 1987.  Shortly after the opening of the new Sunshine Skyway Bridge in 1987, the Skyway's ancillary roads were brought up to interstate standards and Interstate 275 through St. Petersburg was completed.

As Interstate 275 was being built through St. Petersburg, there were other expressways being planned for the St. Petersburg area.  With the exception of the two downtown feeders (Interstate 375 and Interstate 175), these expressways were not built.  The evidence of the expressways that were not built is reflected in one location and that is Interstate 375 westbound on the ramp to Interstate 275 southbound.

As Interstate 275 ages with time, it needs maintenance and upgrading to keep up with growth in St. Petersburg.  Recently crews have been hard at work resurfacing the concrete pavement in various locations and building a new interchange at Roosevelt Blvd. to allow for more access from Seminole and Largo.  In addition, signage has been upgraded and/or replaced in areas where work has been performed.

In 1979 Interstate 275 received its exit numbers which were based on the sequential numbering system.  In 2001 Interstate 275's exit numbers have been changed from the sequential numbering system to a mile marker based numbering system as was the case throughout the rest of the state.  Its purposes serve twofold:  First, to determine how many miles one has driven from point A to point B and second, if in the event of an accident or breakdown it will enable assistance to be dispatched in a more efficient manner.  Interstate 275 is not the only interstate getting the new exit numbering makeover; all of the other interstates in the Tampa Bay area (Interstates 75, 4, 175 and 375) as well as the rest of Florida (Interstates 75, 95, 4 and 10 and their feeder highways too) have received the new mile marker based exit numbering makeover as well.

Mile marker based exit numbering in Florida is not new.  Mile marker based exit numbering has been de rigueur on the Florida Turnpike system for many years; the majority of states in the United States have switched to or use mile marker based exit numbering.  Georgia, Florida's neighbor to the north, used to be a sequential exit numbering state and made the switch before Florida did so.  On the other hand, Interstate 10's national western terminus state, California, after so many years of no exit numbering system began to implement the mile marker based exit numbering system on its interstates and so many freeways that crisscross the Golden State.

In March 2006 the segment of Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to the Howard Frankland Bridge was designated the St. Petersburg Parkway/William C. Cramer Memorial Highway.  The St. Petersburg Parkway designation was the work of St. Petersburg city leaders who wanted to promote a positive image for the countless numbers of visitors that visit St. Petersburg year after year, while the William C. Cramer Memorial Highway designation was named after the former Florida congressman who played a role in shaping Interstate 275 as it passes through St. Petersburg.  However, according to this St. Petersburg Times article this very same segment was designated as the American Legion Memorial Highway back in the late 1960's when Interstate 275 - called Interstate 4 back then - terminated at the western terminus of the Howard Frankland Bridge at the Ulmerton Road/Martin Luther King Street North interchange complex (today's Exit 31) which drew the ire of local veterans groups when the recent designation signage was erected.

Interstate 275's St. Petersburg exits

The following is a table summary of Interstate 275's exits in St. Petersburg. Simply click on the exit number or name to find out more about a particular exit. In addition, you can use the top navigation bar on this page as well as the St. Petersburg exit pages to jump to a specific St. Petersburg exit. Exits read from south to north.

Exit Number

Exit Name

Interchange Type (NB - Northbound; SB - Southbound)


Pinellas Point Dr S

Full Interchange


54 Av S/Pinellas Bayway/FL 682

Full Interchange


26 Av S

SB Entrance and NB Exit


22 Av S

NB Entrance and SB Exit


31 St S

SB Entrance and NB Exit


28 St S

NB Entrance and SB Exit


Interstate 175

Full Interchange


Interstate 375/5 Av N/US Alt 19

Interstate 375 Full Interchange; 5 Av N NB Entry/SB Exit


22 Av N

Full Interchange


38 Av N

Full Interchange


54 Av N

Full Interchange (Exits 26A-B Northbound)


Gandy Blvd/FL 694

Full Interchange


Roosevelt Blvd/FL 686 and 118 Av N/CR 296

Full Interchange


M L King St N/Ulmerton Rd (FL 688)

NB Entrance and Full Interchange SB only


4 St N/FL 687

NB Entrance and SB Exit

Coverage of Interstate 275 south of the Pinellas Point Drive interchange (Exit 16) can be found on our Sunshine Skyway page.