Just in time for spring break, here's an update on the state Department of Transportation project to restructure U.S. 19 in Clearwater from just north of Whitney Road to north of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard.
First, traffic lanes were reduced last week from two lanes southbound and three lanes northbound down to two lanes in both directions at U.S. 19 and Gulf-to-Bay.
This shift is to accommodate the project to replace the existing bridge over Gulf-to-Bay.
The work will also include removing the signals on U.S. 19 between Whitney and Gulf-to-Bay, which will be replaced by new interchanges at Belleair Road and Seville Boulevard. This will create a smooth-sailing corridor free of traffic signals from 49th Street to Sunset Point Road.
Frontage road traffic will be able to continue across Gulf-to-Bay as bridge construction takes place, and the existing turning movements will be maintained.
The new bridge will be built in two phases starting with the southbound side. The DOT says each phase will take approximately 16 months with the planned completion scheduled for the summer or fall of 2014.
For those of you keeping track, the project began in November 2009 and will cost close to $127 million. Check out mockups of what the new and improved 2.7-mile stretch will look like at tinyurl.com/6tupbev.
St. Petersburg's 28th Street will be resurfaced soon
Readers who traverse 28th Street N in St. Petersburg have been hitting the Doc up for any information we might be able to track down on plans to resurface the road.
Reader Chris Lee wrote: "We are concerned about the pavement along 28th Street as it intersects with the pavement of 22nd Avenue N. There is such a bad dip there that you just about hit bottom! I drive a pretty heavy car, and I can't imagine how it jolts a smaller car or someone on a motorcycle or bike."
We touched base with Thomas Gibson, the city's director of engineering. He told us that 28th Street from Ninth Avenue N to 23rd Avenue N is scheduled for resurfacing sometime in the next six months.
"The pavement conditions and grades at the intersection of 22nd Avenue N will be improved as much as possible during the resurfacing process, while maintaining the street drainage function," he said.
Plan for delays on Belcher around golf tournament
North county commuters should plan for slowdowns on Belcher Road between Alderman Road and Klosterman Road today and the rest of the week as the Transitions Championship PGA golf tournament takes place at the Innisbrook Golf Resort. The event is expected to draw plenty of spectators, which translates to congestion and delays, so plan accordingly.
Expect work on Frankland Bridge on Monday, Tuesday
Be alert to the presence of workers on the Howard Frankland Bridge and closure of southbound/westbound lanes from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday night going into Tuesday morning.
Email Ask Dr. Delay at [email protected] to share traffic concerns, comments and questions or follow Dr. Delay on Twitter @AskDrDelay. Questions may be edited for space and clarity.