The namesake of the roadway across Tampa Bay hoped it would engender good will between Hillsborough and Pinellas counties
Hillsborough County is full of inspiring, iconic, and interesting places, and there are remarkable people behind them. In this occasional series we explore namesakes of some of the county's well-known buildings, parks, and roads.
Who was Howard Frankland?
Frankland, 1901-1980, was a prominent Hillsborough County entrepreneur, banker, and philanthropist. While proprietor of Pioneer Tire Company in Tampa, he studied the properties of rubber, inventing ways to recap tires, make floor mats, and produce rubber balls. Frankland was president of the First National Bank of Tampa and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. He worked to attract MacDill Air Force Base and build a third bridge across Tampa Bay.
Why name a bridge for him?
Long an advocate of a cross-bay span between the Gandy Bridge and the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Frankland was on the State Road Board when the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce suggested naming the new bridge for him. At the opening ceremony in January 1960, attended by dignitaries including Gov. LeRoy Collins, Frankland said he hoped it would be a "real tie of friendship" linking Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, the St. Petersburg Times reported.
About the Howard Frankland Bridge
The bridge opened in 1960. It became the northbound span when a second, parallel bridge to accommodate southbound traffic opened in 1990. The Florida Department of Transportation is vetting a proposal for improvements to the twin-span Howard Frankland Bridge that would include express lanes, a bicycle path, and accommodations for light rail, if approved.