Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Transportation

Bayway Trail dead-end is part of larger project

As you may know, in the last year the city's bike and pedestrian trail was extended down to 54th Avenue S. In the past few weeks, another extension was done up to and a little beyond the Pinellas Bayway toll plaza. They built a little bridge over a small canal, and the trail comes to an end at the road. My question is: what was the point of building that bridge over the canal, only to come to an end at the street, and how much did that silly bridge cost?

We asked Mike Frederick, St. Petersburg's manager of transportation planning, to address this question.

Frederick told us that the first phase of the Bayway Trail was the eastern-most section that connects with the Skyway Trail at 34th Street and continues west to the new trail bridge our reader referenced. The trail bridge over the canal was built later than the remainder of the trail because of the need for coordination with Progress Energy to avoid interruptions in service to the area.

The city has received an additional federal grant to pay for the design and construction of the second phase of the Bayway Trail, which is included as a part of the state Department of Transportation's Pinellas Bayway Bridge construction project.

"Once the two additional segments are completed, trail users will have a fully separated path that connects from the Pinellas Trail and Skyway Trail out to St. Pete Beach and to the north-south Bayway that provides access to Fort De Soto Park," Frederick said.

Funds for the $1.2 million project were provided through a federal grant from the Federal Highway Administration, which is administered locally by the DOT.

There are two newly installed raised medians just north of Sunset Beach on Gulf Boulevard at a point where the road is narrow and curves sharply. Drivers often have to swerve to miss the obtrusive medians, which have tire marks on them indicating they have been hit. Is there a plan to modify them in some way?

The DOT is aware of the issue and is planning to take steps make the islands along Gulf Boulevard/State Road 699 more visible.

"We are going to install reflective pavement markers and the wide elliptical-shaped QWICK KURB post on the nose of the islands at these two locations. These measures should make them considerably more visible both day and night," said Kris Carson of the DOT. The QWICK KURB Carson refers to is a device that's applied to the road and features reflective stanchions. They are commonly used at roundabouts or around pedestrian islands.

Barricade watch

Drainage improvement work will begin this week on Gulf Boulevard in Treasure Island that is expected to last into early next year.

Here are the details: workers will install trench drains to improve drainage and eliminate street flooding between 99th and 105th avenues. Work will begin on the east side of Gulf at 99th Avenue and move north to 105th, taking place alongside travel lanes, which means motorists should be prepared for delays as well as lane closures.

Once the first phase of work is completed, the contractor will move to the west side of Gulf at 104th Avenue and work will progress southward, completing where it began on at 99th Avenue.

Treasure Island spokesperson Jeff Jensen said both the contractor and the DOT will contact property owners in the work areas to inform them in detail as to what they can expect.

Email Dr. Delay at [email protected] to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions or follow Dr. Delay on Twitter at @AskDrDelay.

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