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Darkened lights near Eckerd College to be replaced

Reader Tom Shelley wants to know what the story is with a handful of lights that are on the fritz along Interstate 275 around the 54th Avenue S exit ramp. The lights have been out for about two years and the darkened road, near Eckerd College, seems dangerous. Shelley wondered what the plan might be to address the lack of illumination.

We touched base with Kris Carson of the state Department of Transportation, who told us the high mast light poles Shelley inquired about are too old to repair. The good news is that they are slated for replacement soon. The FDOT will solicit bids from contractors to do the work in May with construction starting late this summer.

Sidewalk with center line is part of CityTrails

Several readers have inquired about ongoing work to widen sidewalks along First Street between 30th and 47th avenues N in St. Petersburg as well as why a yellow stripe has been added to the center of the new sidewalk.

Many residents know the work is part of the St. Petersburg CityTrails endeavor, but for readers unfamiliar with the project, we turned to Mike Frederick, the city's manager of neighborhood transportation, and asked him to fill us in on the latest.

Frederick told us replacement of the sidewalk along the east side of First Street will actually run from 30th to 78th avenues N and will result in a wider, multiuse path that will be called the North Bay Trail. Frederick says it is designed to accommodate northbound and southbound pedestrians and recreational cyclists, who will share the path, which is why a center line stripe has recently been added.

"The North Bay Trail is a part of the CityTrails Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan that was adopted by City Council in 2003. It continues south of 30th Avenue N along Coffee Pot, and connects with the recently widened section of the North Bay Trail through the waterfront parks system. Its southern terminus is the Downtown Trail, which is an extension of the very popular Pinellas Trail," Frederick said.

The North Bay Trail along First Street is being constructed in two phases; the southern section between 30th and 54th avenues N is expected to be completed late this spring and the northern section to Rio Vista Park is scheduled to wrap up in the fall.

Submit comments about Courtney Campbell trail

The FDOT will hold two public hearings, one in Pinellas County and one in Hillsborough County, to discuss a proposed multiuse trail along the Courtney Campbell Parkway. The trail would run from Bayshore Boulevard in Clearwater to west of the Ben T. Davis Beach entrance in Tampa. The format of the two hearings will be a two-hour open house with the formal hearings starting at 6 p.m.

FDOT representatives will be present to answer questions before and after the formal portion of each session. Written comments may be submitted at the hearing or may be mailed in advance to: Ming Gao, Intermodal Systems Development Manager, FDOT-District 7, 11201 N McKinley Drive, MS 7-500, Tampa, FL 33612-6456. The DOT will accept written comments postmarked before April 8 to be included in the public hearing record.

If you go:

• Pinellas County, 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Clearwater Christian College, 3400 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Building D, Clearwater.

• Hillsborough County, 5 to 7 p.m., March 29, Westin Tampa Bay, 7627 W Courtney Campbell Parkway, BluVu Room, Tampa.

Please e-mail Dr. Delay at docdelay@yahoo.com to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions. Questions selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity.

Darkened lights near Eckerd College to be replaced 03/19/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 19, 2011 5:30am]

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