Tuesday, February 20, 2018
News Roundup

Contractor to adjust slope of intersection

As part of the project to widen Keystone Road, they have connected the Pinellas Trail from McMullen-Booth Road all the way to Tarpon Springs. While doing this, they built up the trail so that it goes uphill as you near Keystone and then has a short but fairly steep downhill that stops at the light at Keystone and McMullen-Booth. This means cyclists heading north on the trail are going to have to make a sudden stop at the end of a downhill in order to avoid entering the intersection. Most motorists looking to turn right on red at an intersection do not check for cyclists coming from the right — their attention is on whether cars are coming from the left. I'm guessing it will be a matter of weeks before a cyclist fails to stop at the bottom of the downhill and is hit by a motorist trying to turn right from Keystone in order to go south on McMullen-Booth. I have two questions: Why did they create an artificial elevation on that part of the trail and what is the plan, if any, to avoid my scenario?

Scott Stolz

We shared this concern with Pinellas County's supervisor of engineering support services, Joseph DeMoss, who said the design of the project didn't create an artificial elevation on the trail, rather the natural topography was elevated, presenting a challenge in designing something that would both work with the naturally occurring topography and meet slope regulations set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. DeMoss said although the design at this intersection complies with ADA regulations, the contractor will do some adjusting during the final phases of the project, resulting in what DeMoss described as "a softer slope and a curved geometry that was intended to enhance visibility for both the motorist and the trail user." Assuming that we are free of extreme weather in the coming months, this work should be completed fairly soon.

Living in Pinellas, we just had the opportunity to run across the Courtney Campbell. To our surprise, they are building a new bridge that looks narrow and supports only one lane. Tell me it is not for light rail and please tell us it is not a bicycle path. I didn't see this on my last voting ballot.

Hal Thompson

The construction adjacent to the Courtney Campbell Parkway is a 9-mile pedestrian trail that will be used by walkers, joggers, and yes — bicyclists. The $23 million trail is being built with federal funds set aside for community enhancement projects. The Hillsborough side of the project is nearly done and the Pinellas side is estimated to be completed in 2014, according to the state Department of Transportation. Motorists should be prepared for nightly lane closures (8 p.m. Sundays through 5:30 a.m. Thursdays) from the Pinellas County line to Rocky Point Drive until about Aug. 1 as work continues.

Is there any time frame for completion of repair on Ulmerton Road in Largo?

Shirley Zornow

Yes. The two projects to make a six-lane road both east and west of the Seminole bypass canal — one between 119th Street and the Seminole Bypass Canal, which is being done by Pepper Contracting Services, and second, between the Seminole Bypass Canal and El Centro Boulevard/Ranchero Boulevard, being completed by Conalvias USA, have estimated completion dates.

Work on Ulmerton from 119th to the Seminole Bypass Canal started in August 2011 and is scheduled to wrap up in late 2013 or early 2014.

The section of Ulmerton Road from the Seminole Bypass Canal to El Centro Boulevard /Ranchero Boulevard kicked off in January 2012 and is estimated to finish sometime toward the end of 2015.

Email Dr. Delay at [email protected] to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions or follow Dr. Delay on Twitter @AskDrDelay.

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