Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ask Dr. Delay: New Bayway bridge isn't on the horizon

The Doc last did an update on plans to replace the 50-year-old Pinellas Bayway bridge more than a year ago, so here's a quick refresher: The planned replacement was announced by the state in 2001. At the time, plans to build a higher, 65-foot fixed-span bridge seemed all-systems-go, and work was scheduled to begin in 2003. But funding shortfalls arose, and the project has been on hold (on and off) ever since.

Last year we reported that the state Department of Transportation was working with the Bayway Bridges Task Force, a committee of the Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization, to develop a funding plan to replace the Pinellas Bayway and the Tierra Verde bridges within five years.

The task force includes elected officials from Pinellas County, St. Pete Beach and St. Petersburg. The DOT does not have the money to replace the two bridges. There was talk last year about increasing the bridge tolls, which have not changed in 23 years, a suggestion that generated an uproar among folks who do not want to see rates increase.

Reader Alfred T. May asked recently about the latest: "Dear Dr. Delay: What is the status of the high-span bridge between the Pinellas Bayway and St. Pete Beach? … This would seem like an ideal project for some of the government stimulus money because it's probably 'shovel ready' and is an important hurricane evacuation route."

The bottom line, sorry to say, is that there isn't much to report.

Kris Carson of the state DOT told us the department continues to work with Pinellas County and the MPO to determine where the money will come from.

The state DOT is required by law to identify the funding source before a project can be added to the five-year work program.

Carson added that revenue from Pinellas Bayway tolls won't make a dent and cannot be increased without action on the part of the Legislature. In the meantime, the bridge continues to age. Because it is hurricane season, keep that in mind when formulating your evacuation plans.

Bryan Dairy Road exit

New ramp opening looks good for spring

Lots of readers are wondering what's up with the new Bryan Dairy Road westbound exit sign on northbound Interstate 275. Could it be that the ramp is about to open?

One reader wrote: "Don't get too excited: The 'exit' ramp takes you down to Roosevelt, then directs you to a left turn at that first light and down 28th Street to Bryan Dairy. The overall ramp does appear close to opening, which I suspect will happen well before the entire connector project is completed. What's the latest?"

The DOT told us work is progressing fast and furious, but the scheduled completion date and opening of the ramp remains best estimated at next spring. And the new northbound I-275 ramp that takes traffic westbound to County Road 296, also known as 118th Avenue/Bryan Dairy Road, is indeed projected to open about a month before the completion of the entire project.

"Currently, the project is estimated to finish in spring 2011. However, the contractor is considerably ahead of schedule … and is working hard to try and finish even earlier than this spring," John McShaffrey of the DOT said.

Doc Delay is on Twitter! Get news from the road at Please e-mail Dr. Delay at to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions. Questions selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity.

Ask Dr. Delay: New Bayway bridge isn't on the horizon 07/31/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2010 11:49am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. On Confederate monuments, the public stands with President Trump


    President Donald Trump came out strongly in opposition to removing Confederate statues from public places, saying it was "sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments."

    Tourists stand near a bronze statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, second from left, that stands inside of Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. [Photo by Mark Wilson | Getty Images]
  2. Venezuelan lawmaker tied to Rubio death threat: ‘We don’t care about you’


    The powerful Venezuelan lawmaker tied to a potential death order against U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio dismissed the notion late Wednesday that he has a personal interest in getting the Florida Republican killed.

    enezuelan Constitutional assembly delegate and Leader of Venezuela's ruling socialist party Diosdado Cabello, left, leaves the General Prosecutors office in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Cabello is alleging that the husband and close aides of ousted chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega ran a multi million dollar extortion ring.
  3. Top 5 at noon: Times investigation into Tampa Electric deaths; Buckhorn, others donate to move Confederate monument; and more


    Here are the latest headlines and updates on

    Aerial view of the Tampa Electric Big Bend power station. [Sunday, August 13, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  4. Bucs and Bucks: HBO's Hard Knocks series boosts local businesses


    TAMPA — Men can enjoy yoga, including the most athletic ones. That is the message that the co-founder of Camp Tampa, a fitness studio located in South Tampa, wants to push after a few Tampa Bay Buccaneers players were shown practicing on HBO's television series Hard Knocks.

    Longtime hairstylist, Katie Ellwood styles Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander's hair last week at New Identities Hair Studio of Tampa Palms. The camera crew follows Kwon Alexander and other Bucs players during the team's training camp for the HBO show "Hard Knocks," a documentary television series about the ups and downs of an NFL training camp. [Courtesy of New Identities Hair Studio]
  5. Old Time Pottery adds store in Largo


    LARGO — A home decor and furniture store opened Thursday at 1111 Missouri Ave. N, according to a news release from the Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce. This is Old Time Pottery's fourth location in the Tampa Bay area, joining stores in Kenneth City, New Port Richey and Brandon. The company, which has 41 …