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Neighborhood notebook | Compiled by Eric Smithers

Ybor's main drag to be repaved; other tidbits to know

YBOR CITY

Ybor's main strip will be closed starting the first week in August for some much-needed repaving.

Retailers met with state officials July 9 to discuss the best time to repave Seventh Avenue. Tom Keating, president of the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce, said the consensus was to begin the project in early August because business from tourists is typically low during that time.

He said potential state budget cuts played a big role in the decision to move forward with the project now. "With the economy here and there, if you get out of the state's queue you don't get back in for years," he said.

The repaving will begin Aug. 4 and should take two weeks, according to Ernie Nelson, Tampa's transportation operations chief. Seventh Avenue will be closed during the day for construction from Nuccio Parkway to 22nd Avenue, but cross streets will be open. Seventh will be open during off hours, Nelson said.

Brenda Thrower, economic development specialist for the Ybor City Development Corp., said the road is long overdue for resurfacing.

"I've been here 12 years and Seventh hasn't been resurfaced in that time," she said.

Tampa Heights

Don't worry. The construction on N Boulevard is almost done. The Florida Department of Transportation said the installation of a 72-inch-wide drainage pipe for the Interstate 275 widening has been set back about two to three weeks, but is slated to completed in late August.

Spokeswoman Kris Carson said a combination of rain and utility issues caused some unexpected delays.

N Boulevard has been closed from Laurel and Main streets since May 5. The project is just one small piece of the decade-long, $480-million widening of I-275 from the Howard Frankland Bridge to the Hillsborough River.

Downtown

Are you a history buff with some spare time on your hands? The University of Tampa Museum wants you.

The museum is looking for energetic, enthusiastic volunteers to assist with reception greeting, the museum store and tours. Both weekend and weekday shifts are needed. Experience is not required.

Sally Shifke, museum relations coordinator, said the museum is looking to fill in slots left empty from people who will leave for the winter months.

"It's critical in our success to keeping these doors open that we have a strong volunteer base," she said.

Shifke said those interested must fill out an application. An orientation will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday in the museum. Reserve your place by calling Shifke at 258-7302.

Wellswood

Hillsborough County is hosting a public meeting to discuss traffic problems along ldlewild Avenue at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Oak Grove Elementary cafeteria, 6315 N Armenia Ave.

The meeting will review the results of a county traffic study and present options to slow down or reduce the volume of traffic from the intersection of Armenia Avenue to the road's end. A recommendation based on this meeting will be sent to county commissioners.

The residential initiative is part of the county's traffic calming program. Possible solutions include speed humps, police enforcement or double yellow lines.

Idlewild Avenue has a split ownership between the county and city, said Buz Barbour, manager of traffic programs. This meeting will affect only the side where the county has jurisdiction.

East Tampa

Clarence Jones wants to get guns off his streets. Jones, 19, has lost several friends and an uncle to gun violence. He is organizing a Stop the Gun Violence Rally on Aug. 10 at Ragan Park Community Center, 1200 E Lake Ave.

A meeting to prepare for the rally will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Robert W. Saunders Sr. Public Library meeting room, 1505 Nebraska Ave. Anyone interested in helping, particularly family members of gun violence victims, are invited. Call Jones at 458-2422 or e-mail gitt_block@yahoo.com.

Times staff writer Elisabeth Dyer contributed to this report. If you know of news in your community, contact Eric Smithers at esmithers@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3339.

Ybor's main drag to be repaved; other tidbits to know 07/17/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 17, 2008 4:33am]
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