Monday, February 19, 2018
Transportation

Bridge at 58th Street and 30th Avenue N is now a no-stop spot

I regularly drive east/west 30th Avenue N at 58th Street. The powers that be have decided it is a good idea to not allow stopping on the bridge when turning left. However, that only works if there are not multiple cars lined up in both directions wanting to turn. I was held up one day because of an accident there and I'm sure there will be others. What were they thinking?

Mrs. Lee Wilkes

Bill Foster, St. Petersburg's traffic signal coordinator, says the original design of the traffic signal's timing of the north/south left turns at this particular intersection was very short due to the lack of space in terms of the road, which allowed for vehicles to pause in the middle of the intersection while waiting to turn.

"What makes this traffic signal unusual is that there is a short bridge separating the northbound and southbound travel lanes. When we found out that the amount of left-turning vehicles was going to increase significantly because of changes to the student drop-off lanes at the elementary school located north of this intersection, the city hired an engineering firm to redesign this traffic signal in order to be able to accommodate the changes," Foster said.

Because of the new design, engineers concluded that is wasn't appropriate for vehicles to make full stops in the center of the intersection on the bridge before making a turn on a green light as was previously permitted. So, Foster says, in order to prevent this from happening, "Do not stop on bridge" signs were installed.

Treasure Island project

A $3.46 million project to replace two bridges on Treasure Island will start next week. Construction of both the new Isle of Palms bridge on 112th Avenue and new Capri Isle bridge on 116th Avenue begins Jan. 21. Work will be done between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; Saturdays will serve as catch-up days in the event that weekday construction is delayed by weather. A sidewalk will be open throughout the construction period for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Jeff Jensen, spokesperson for the city of Treasure Island, says that work to replace the two 60-year-old bridges will take place concurrently, one half at a time, with the south sides of the bridges done first, followed by the north sides.

Two-way traffic will share one lane throughout the life of the project. The south sides of both new bridges are expected to be completed by May. Once the first phase is completed, the north sides of the old bridges will be demolished to make way for phase two of construction. Traffic flow on and off the islands will be controlled by traffic lights on both sides of the bridges, with adjustments to timing to help maintain optimal flow during peak hours.

From start to finish, the project is expected to take about 10 months, with reopening to two-way traffic sometime in October.

Dale Mabry exit change

If you plan to venture into Tampa soon, be aware that the southbound I-275 exit to Dale Mabry was closed permanently last week. Traffic will now use the Exit 41B ramp to northbound Dale Mabry and traffic signal-controlled turns will be allowed in each direction onto Dale Mabry.

The state Department of Transportation anticipates an adjustment period and encourages everyone traveling through the area to use extra caution and patience. It's wise to anticipate that drivers around you may be confused or caught unaware by the change, which could result in folks abruptly hitting the brakes and making last-minute lane changes.

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

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