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Ask Dr. Delay: Expect downtown detours as Grand Prix gets closer

What's the story with all the road closures downtown that started about two weeks ago?

Kevin Martini

Crews have begun preparations for the 10th annual Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, set for March 28-30 and expected to draw 100,000 spectators. Work has started on the first phase of the 1.8 mile, 14-turn road course from Bayshore Drive and First Avenue S to Albert Whitted Park. Closures and detours for the event will last until approximately mid April. Watch for dynamic signs downtown that provide closure information.

Recently on Gandy Boulevard, they have been cutting down all the trees between the east/west roadways Fourth Street and 16th Street. What's with this?

Frank Kynion

What you and many other readers have inquired about is the start of a three-year project to improve east/west traffic flow on Gandy Boulevard from Fourth Street to Interstate 275. When it's complete, Gandy will be a six-lane elevated road from I-275 to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N and four lanes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N to east of Fourth Street N.

The project includes the creation of overpasses at 94th Avenue N, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N, Roosevelt Boulevard and Fourth Street N, as well as pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. Motorists should prepare for lane closures along Gandy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, Roosevelt Boulevard and Fourth Street N. The state Department of Transportation says most closures through the life of the project, which is expected to finish sometime in 2017, will be kept to off-peak hours and weekends.

In addition, the city's ongoing work on storm drainage improvement will require road closures along the 8300-9000 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N with one lane in each direction remaining open throughout the life of the project. The projected completion time frame is early 2015.

Barricade watch

• Expect delays and intermittent closure of the northbound, curbside lane of 34th Street from Fifth to 46th Avenues N due to installation of fiber loops for the county's intelligent traffic management system. The work is expected to be completed in mid April.

• Work to resurface Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park from 66th Street N to U.S. 19 will begin this week with the removal of existing sidewalks and curbs, which will be done during daylight hours as well as at night over a 2 1/2-week period, followed by the milling and resurfacing work, which will take place only at night. The project is expected to be completed in about seven months.

• In Clearwater, Duke Energy is doing power line work along Coronado Drive from Brightwater Drive to Fifth Street, which requires a southbound lane shift. The work is expected to last until June 7.

Email Dr. Delay at docdelay@gmail.com with questions, or follow Dr. Delay on Twitter @AskDrDelay.

Ask Dr. Delay: Expect downtown detours as Grand Prix gets closer 03/06/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 6, 2014 5:48pm]
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