The much anticipated new ramp that allows Interstate 275 traffic to head onto westbound Roosevelt Boulevard or westbound 118th Avenue is now open. The Doc took a spin last week and found the ride smooth as silk and much less of a hassle than the former route. Check it out for yourself and let the Doc know what you think.
Progress Energy Trail hangs in waiting
Reader Steve Askew wrote recently to share his observation that an overpass on U.S. 19 seems to be one of those notorious bridges to nowhere. Askew wrote:
"A bridge for the Progress Energy Trail across U.S. 19 near Enterprise Road was completed last year, but there is no trail at either end of the bridge. What is the plan?"
The bridge is servicing no one at the moment because of two stumbling blocks. First, Progress Energy is designing and constructing the trail from NE Coachman Road to Enterprise Road. But issues with permits delayed the project. County budget constraints pushed construction back a year, according to a county spokesperson. Work is scheduled to resume during the 2012 fiscal year.
By the way, the bridge was built by the Florida Department of Transportation well in advance of the rest of the trail project because the federal funds for building it were available at that time.
St. Petersburg Grand Prix
Preparations for big race getting under way
It's that time of year again — the St. Petersburg Grand Prix is just around the corner. Motorists who regularly tool around downtown know preparations have begun for this year's event set for March 25-27. City workers began last week by closing part of Bayshore Drive SE. Southbound Bayshore Drive is open to local traffic only, and signs reflecting this are posted at First Avenue SE and eastbound Fifth Avenue S/Dalí Boulevard at First Street. Motorists should be aware that this section of Bayshore Drive will be closed to nonauthorized traffic to allow crews to begin the race track construction. In addition, Albert Whitted Park is now closed to the public and will remain closed through April 8.
According to Sgt. Gary Dukeman of the St. Petersburg Police Department, the first phase of construction is the assembly of the concrete barrier along the race route. The second phase will begin Feb. 21 with the building of pit lane and grandstands in Albert Whitted Park. Phase 3 is scheduled to start rolling March 3 with the installation of the barrier system that will start along First Street S moving north to include Pioneer Park, Bayfront Tower, and the Yacht Club.
Until next week, happy and safe motoring!
Please e-mail Dr. Delay at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions. Questions selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity.