INDIAN ROCKS BEACH ó Months of disruption for motorists on Gulf Boulevard are just ahead.
Florida Department of Transportation officials revealed plans to improve drainage issues along the road at City Commission meeting this month.
John Novak, a DOT design consultant, told the commission that studies along Gulf Boulevard from Park Street in Indian Shores to Walsingham Road showed problem areas where water was not properly draining after heavy rains and storms.
He explained that the standing water was not only a nuisance for cyclists and motorists but it also undermines the road.
Novak said the water was mostly creating issues for the bike lanes and pedestrian pathways along both sides of Gulf Boulevard.
"We have to increase the speed that water drains from the pathway," he said.
Novak said by the time the job is finished there will have been 15,000 feet of pipe installed and 2,000 feet of trench drains. Trench drains are openings in the road covered by a grill that allows water to drain off the roadway and away from the pathways.
Novak said work will be limited to the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the road will be open at night, weekends and holidays.
He said bicyclists will likely be inconvenienced the most and will have to share the road with vehicles or use the pedestrian pathways.
Mayor R.B. Johnson raised the issue of the pending undergrounding of utilities along Gulf Boulevard. Novak said the drainage job would be done in conjunction with the undergrounding.
The 3-mile section of Gulf Boulevard in question will be completely repaved once all the work is finished.
The contract for the project is expected to be awarded by early May with construction beginning in July or August. It will take a year to finish the job.
Cost of the project is expected to be $3.2 million.