Originally opened in 1976 as Florida Toll Route 449 and later redesignated Florida Toll Route 618, the tollway was renamed in honor of Lee Roy Selmon, a legendary Tampa Bay Buccaneers hall-of-famer in 1999.
The Selmon Expressway is most significant for its elevated express lanes bridge, which is the first of its kind in the world. These express lanes are also tolled the same amount as the general purpose lanes, but are used during peak commuter hours to alleviate traffic on the main tollway. Recently, the tollway has been increasingly congested due to more and more motorists using it an an alternate route around the already-congested Howard Frankland Bridge and Interstate 275.
The Selmon Expressway is also noted for an unusually designed five-level stack interchange that connects the main tollway and the elevated express lanes to Interstate 4 located directly north, via a tolled causeway bridge of similar design to the express lanes.
Tolls on the main tollway, the express lanes, and the I-4 Connector are all-electronic - motorists without SunPass or a compatible equivalent will have their license plates photographed and be mailed a bill. This “Pay-by-Plate” tolling system is increasingly being used in many states to prevent heavy traffic backups at mainline toll barriers.