Can you explain the new signs across from Eckerd College heading west that sometimes flash and warn of a congested area? Where is the area they are talking about? The toll plaza is nearby and there is never congestion there. It is very confusing.
The new flashing signs that alert motorists to congestion ahead have caught the attention of plenty of readers, and we asked Kris Carson of the state Department of Transportation to fill us in about why the signs have been placed on the westbound approach to the Pinellas Bayway toll plaza.
Carson said that the area does indeed experience heavy traffic and congestion at times, particularly on the weekends. While commuters may not notice the congestion at certain times of day, nearby residents have, and raised the issue with the DOT. The signs were installed to help address those concerns.
This is to call attention to an issue from the recent road surfacing project on Park Street just south of Fifth Avenue N. At the big curve, the inside southbound lane is pinched or narrowed by the solid yellow line to impermissible tolerances. I believe it represents a safety hazard, especially for unfamiliar drivers. The incorrect yellow line can be inspected and repaired with little difficulty right now due to the problem area being cordoned or barreled-off from traffic due to the current and adjacent bridge project.
We passed this concern along to Brian Mowry, the project coordinator for the current Park Street bridge replacement work, who told us he will check it out and make the correction with project striping if possible. If the fix is not within the current project scope, Mowry will refer it to the county's traffic engineering department for followup.
• In St. Petersburg, expect intermittent lane closures and slow-downs this week due to road resurfacing work along 54th Avenue N from Part Street to 34th Street. Work should wrap up Friday.
• In Seminole, disruption of eastbound traffic flow due to a sewer pipe failure along Park Boulevard between Seminole Boulevard and Seminole Isle is ongoing. The repair was to have been completed last week, however, work continues. Workers discovered issues with other pipes when they went in to repair the broken pipe. A county spokesperson said the additional repairs will take another week, followed by a week to allow for road restoration. Weather permitting, things should be back to normal on or about Aug. 17. Until then, expect delays and congestion to continue; the eastbound curb lane remains closed and motorists should be alert to workers and equipment in the roadway.
• In Clearwater, Turner Street at Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this week through Wednesday. This closure is due to Verizon line relocation as part of the Druid Trail construction project. Motorists may use Pine Street as a detour route.
• South Betty Lane at Belleair Road will be closed through Aug. 14 due to construction related to the Hillcrest-Brookhill traffic calming project. Use South Hillcrest Avenue as a detour route. Belleair Road will not be affected.
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