Seasonal residents from the North are beginning to arrive in Pinellas County and the Doc has been receiving a lot of inquiries about major and minor road work. Here's a brief roundup of what's happening, as well as updates on some longer-term projects and estimated completion dates, which, as always, are subject to change. Those of us who remember the December 2010 water main break in North Pinellas can attest to that — it put a damper on the holidays for many residents and significantly delayed completion of the Belcher Road project. Here's the latest on projects readers have asked about the most:
The Pinellas Bayway: Work on the massive project to replace the Pinellas Bayway, which began in February, is humming along on schedule. The new bridge will be a much higher fixed-span structure (no more idling for bridge openings) with four lanes. Motorists should expect intermittent lane closures from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with flaggers in the roadway. Keep in mind that if you need to get on or off Tierra Verde in a hurry, it's best to do it before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m. each weekday.
Projected completion: October 2014
The Courtney Campbell PARKway: Milling and resurfacing of the bridge from the Pinellas County line to Rocky Point Drive began in April and includes replacement of the guardrail. Expect nightly lane closures and delays.
Projected completion: August 2013
U.S. 19 from north of Whitney Road to north of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard: This $112 million Department of Transportation project, which started in November 2009, will replace the traffic signals on U.S. 19 between Whitney Road and Gulf-to-Bay with two interchanges at Seville Boulevard and Belleair Road to create a nice long stoplight-free ride for motorists from 49th Street to Sunset Point Road. The 2.7-mile-project will also provide improvement to traffic flow along both north and southbound frontage roads. Work on the frontage roads should be finished at the end of this year, and traffic will be routed onto those roads when road work begins on U.S. 19 in January.
Projected completion: Spring 2015
Bryan Dairy Road from Starkey Road to 72nd Street N: Road and drainage improvement work on Bryan Dairy seems to have gone on forever, according to commuters who drive this route. But hang in there; it's on track to wrap up in time for Thanksgiving this year, so keep your fingers crossed. In the meantime, expect continued delays and occasional lane closures from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday nights through Thursday mornings with one through-lane maintained in both directions at all times.
Projected completion: Nov. 25
Belleair Road at Keene Road: Intersection improvements at Belleair and Keene involve intermittent lane closures and delays, and motorists should be alert for flagging personnel at the site.
Projected completion: June 2013
54th Avenue N from Park Street to U.S. 19: Work on sidewalk ramps to bring them into compliance with Americans With Disabilities Act requirements involves intermittent lane closures and delays, with flagging personnel in the road.
Projected completion: November
• Pipe replacement work on Seminole Boulevard at Eighth Avenue SW should wrap up early this week. In the meantime, be alert to lane closures and watch your speed.
• Clearwater's observance of Mexican Independence Day will close Cleveland Street from Missouri Avenue to Betty Lane from 1:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday. The detour route is Gulf-to-Bay and Drew Street.
Email Dr. Delay at [email protected] to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions or follow Dr. Delay on Twitter @AskDrDelay. Questions selected for publication may be edited.