The I-275 exit from northbound Roosevelt Boulevard onto eastbound Ulmerton Road has no yield signs where the lanes come together. In addition, the lanes twist and turn with very limited viewing ability. Raymond James, Bright House Networks, and Aegon are just a few of the companies with many employees needing to be in the right turn lane leading into the Carillon Center. As vehicles are coming onto Ulmerton, a serious accident is only bound to occur. My reason for emailing you is in hopes that you are able to confirm that this is only a short-term problem and that the exit ramp vehicles will soon have a yield to oncoming traffic sign.
We shared your concern about the line of sight and merge distances, as well as the short distance to the traffic signal at Carillon Parkway /Egret Boulevard with the state Department of Transportation. We heard back from Scott Passmore, project engineer for KCI Technologies, who is coordinating the construction project. Passmore will ask the contractor to place two yield signs and a yield bar at this location for the off ramp traffic, which should slow down the ramp traffic and cause motorists to look for oncoming traffic to their left. Don't look for this installation overnight — traffic engineers will first have to be sure that this intervention won't create other issues.
The DOT says that the current situation is temporary and things should improve when traffic is switched to the south side of the road this summer. Plans for improvement of the Carillon Parkway/Egret Road intersection, which include adding turn lanes to both the north and south legs, have recently been finalized and agreed upon by the DOT and the city of St. Petersburg, and work is expected to begin soon, according to Kris Carson of the DOT.
Next up: Motorists can expect the traffic switch between Egret Road and 34th Street, set to happen sometime in the next 60 to 90 days, moving traffic onto the new pavement, which, once the entire project is complete, will be the eastbound travel lanes on the south side of Ulmerton.
When can we expect the construction to finally be done? Carson says the current phase of work is ahead of schedule. If all goes as planned and scheduled, the new Roosevelt Boulevard Bridge and all the corresponding improvements will be completed in the spring of 2016. This, of course, can change, and we know that weather can have a major impact — yet another reason to hope for a quiet hurricane season. When the work is done, we will have a wider Ulmerton Road to the tune of three through-lanes in each direction from 38th Street to I-275 and a wider Roosevelt Boulevard between 28th Avenue and Ulmerton Road, which will also expand to three lanes in each direction.
• In Clearwater, Oak Avenue from Chestnut to Rogers Street is closed until June 30 due to water line work by Pinellas County. Detour routes: Palm or Bay avenues. The same project will close Osceola Avenue south of Cleveland Street to Pierce Street starting today through July 18. Detour route: Fort Harrison Avenue.
• Work along the Veterans Expressway to remove deactivated cash toll structures will require full roadway detours between Waters Avenue and Gunn Highway this weekend. For details about all-electronic, no-cash tolling on Florida's Turnpike system, go to floridasturnpike.com and click on the green "all electronic" button or call toll-free 1-800-749-7453.
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