New Year's Eve is no doubt a concern for those of us who plan to be on the road in the evening. The usual cautionary reminders about not drinking and driving, designating a sober driver for your group and noting that law enforcement will be in full force keeping the roads safe are appropriate here as is a word of thanks to the folks at AAA and Bud Light. The partnership between the two provides an option of last resort for those who find themselves in no condition to drive and with no other means of getting to a safe place. The Tow to Go program, which AAA says has removed more than 20,000 drunken drivers from Florida, Georgia and Tennessee roads since the program began in 1998, provides any driver, AAA member or not, a safe ride home .
Twenty thousand drunken drivers is a staggering number — nearly double the population of Gulfport, just to put it into context. The tragedies that have been averted by the provision of a no-questions-asked free ride home are unimaginable. The Doc's hat is off to the nonprofit AAA Traffic Safety Foundation and Bud Light for funding the program. The key points are that the service provides a confidential ride and tow of your vehicle home from any bar or restaurant free of charge to motorists who may have had too much to drink. Participating tow trucks can take up to two people home if needed, but this isn't a limo service. Tow to Go doesn't take reservations; it should be an absolute last resort phone call. The number to call is (855) 286-9246
Most scheduled road construction has been suspended during the holidays and will resume Wednesday. Here is a look at work that is coming up and updates on what is wrapping up in 2013:
• Milling and resurfacing of the road will affect 86th Avenue N from 98th Street N to Starkey Road from Wednesday through sometime Friday. Motorists should expect intermittent lane closures and delays and watch for flagging personnel in the road.
• For seasonal residents who have contacted the Doc to inquire about the Pinellas Bayway replacement project, the work is continuing on schedule and is expected to be completed in October 2014
• Bridge replacement work that began this month at 112th Avenue from Gulf Boulevard to First Street E in Treasure Island will be ongoing through August. Motorists should be prepared for lane closures and delays.
• Intersection modification work at Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard from U.S. 19 N to the Clearwater Mall entrance is estimated to be completed around the end of 2013. The bulk of the work will be done overnight with lane closures in effect Mondays through Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m.
• Road improvements and construction of a new segment of the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail at Keystone Road from U.S. 19 to East Lake Road are scheduled to wrap up in April.
Until next week, happy and safe motoring and Happy New Year, all.
Email Dr. Delay at [email protected] or follow Dr. Delay on Twitter @AskDrDelay.