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Ask Dr. Delay: 118th Avenue N gets clogged near I-275

I travel east on 118th Avenue N every morning on my way to work. Once I pass 49th Street (sometimes even before) the traffic is backed up bumper-to-bumper all the way to the entrance to Interstate 275. This didn't seem to be a problem until they built the exit ramp off I-275 to 118th. I think part of the problem is they added a traffic signal where there was not one before construction. Also, most of the traffic seems to be going onto I-275, so why not build a new entrance onto the highway? I've recently seen survey crews and what looks like traffic observance during the morning commute. Could this be the start of some changes coming in the future?

Ray Mannion

It is indeed. The state Department of Transportation is aware of the problem and currently has a project in the design phase aimed at streamlining access for traffic from eastbound 118th Avenue N to I-275. But this won't bring relief to commuters anytime soon. The project is funded for construction, but not until the state's 2016 fiscal year. And, as always, this is subject to change.

With Seminole's apparent approval for a Super Walmart across from Bay Pines VA Medical Center, I'd like to know what road improvements are planned for 100th Way N. I cannot see any scenario where this two-lane road can handle the 15,000-plus cars a day that are expected.

Greg Mullinax

Plans for development of the 60-acre site in Seminole along Bay Pines Boulevard include a subdivision of 56 homes, an eight-building apartment community housing 330 units and retail space that features Walmart and other businesses, all of which will mean a lot more traffic. With construction well under way, the city recently reopened the adjacent frontage road, which it says in its most recent municipal newsletter "will serve future commercial development on the north and south sides of the new roadway, and will alleviate traffic at the intersection of Bay Pines Blvd. and 100th Way." In addition, the developer will make improvements to the intersection of Bay Pines Boulevard and 100th Way. Stay tuned.

Barricade watch

• In St. Petersburg, work is about to begin on a $6.7 million state Department of Transportation project to improve Fourth Street N between Fifth Avenue and Koger Boulevard. The project, which is set to start this month, includes repaving the road, upgrading drainage between 13th and 20th avenues N, and replacing the sidewalk to meet accessibility standards. Motorists should expect delays and both day and nighttime lane closures. The target wrap-up is fall 2014.

• Work along 62nd Street at 50th Avenue N to upgrade the sidewalk will require intermittent lane closures. The project is expected to last until the end of August.

• In Largo, work to repair the ties at the CSX railroad crossing at Eighth Avenue SE between Seminole Boulevard and Central Park Drive should wrap up early this week. In the meantime, suggested detour routes are East Bay Drive, Ulmerton Road, Donegan Road/Lake Avenue SE and Central Park Drive.

• In Seminole, watch for workers along 80th Avenue N from Oakhurst Road to 140th Street and 125th Street at 86th Avenue N as work continues through the end of the month on drainage improvement and sidewalk upgrades. Work at both locations will require intermittent lane closures.

• Sidewalk improvements along 131st Street from 82nd Avenue N to Walsingham Road will continue until about Aug. 30. Expect occasional lane closures.

•In Clearwater, Druid Road S is closed for rebuilding from Corbett Street to Jeffords Street until Oct. 1 The detour route is S Fort Harrison

Email Dr. Delay at docdelay@gmail.com to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions or follow Dr. Delay on Twitter @AskDrDelay.

Ask Dr. Delay: 118th Avenue N gets clogged near I-275 08/08/13 [Last modified: Thursday, August 8, 2013 4:01pm]
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