Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dr. Delay: Bridges for bike trail cause confusion

The Doc has received a lot of mail the past two years regarding the ongoing CityTrails project. We covered the latest details a year ago, when readers were clamoring for information about the work to widen sidewalks on First Street between 30th and 47th avenues N. It's part of St. Petersburg's CityTrails Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, adopted by the City Council in 2003.

The plan was to construct the North Bay Trail along First Street from 30th Avenue N to 78th Avenue N in two phases, with the section reaching to 54th Avenue N to be completed late last spring. A second section, to Rio Vista Park, was scheduled to wrap up sometime last fall.

But work is continuing and some folks, including reader Harold Holderith, have grown weary of the construction. He contacted the Doc last week to ask about a pedestrian bridge being built at First Street and 54th Avenue N. Holderith wrote: "They're now installing the third bridge (in the last 18 months). Will this be the final or are they still experimenting, with our tax dollars?"

The bridge Holderith references connects the Rio Vista Trail at First Street and 78th Avenue N to the Pinellas Trail Downtown Extension. The cost of the 1.5-mile section of concrete trail with pedestrian bridges at 54th and 34th avenues is $933,784, and is paid for with federal stimulus dollars.

Challenges were presented, city engineers told us, by the presence of overhead power lines. Plans to construct a steel truss from the street curb turned out to be impossible because it created line-of-sight problems for drivers entering First Street from 55th Avenue N.

Thomas Gibson, the city's engineering director, said Progress Energy moved one power pole. In place of the originally planned steel truss bridge, a lower wood pile bridge with concrete deck has been designed, which will eliminate the sight distance issues.

"The construction of the alternative bridge will require pile driving under the Progress Energy overhead lines. Progress Energy will temporarily remove electric distribution lines directly over the proposed bridge for one week to allow pile driving. This work is scheduled for the week of March 30," Gibson said.

The work we are currently seeing is construction of the bridge abutments and approach slabs. In addition, Progress Energy will be moving power poles along First Street from 47th to 49th Avenue N, where the trail currently ends. This section will be widened to 12 feet later this year.

Gibson said the steel truss bridge initially meant for the 54th Avenue N canal crossing has been relocated to the Clam Bayou Trail creek crossing near 41st Street and 20th Avenue S. It will replace a steel truss bridge built in 1989 that is reaching the end of its lifespan.

The new Clam Bayou Trail, which is scheduled to be completed sometime this summer, will pass through the Clam Bayou Preserve and connect the Pinellas Trail to the future South Bay Trail, and Bayway and Sunshine Skyway trails. After completion of the North Bay Trail section and Clam Bayou Trail, St. Petersburg will have 34 miles of off-road trails and 75 miles of bike lanes in operation, which is in addition to the Pinellas Trail, Gibson said. Check out the city's website for more information about the project at stpete.org/transportation/citytrails.

Email Dr. Delay at [email protected] to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions or follow Dr. Delay on Twitter @AskDrDelay. Questions selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity.

Dr. Delay: Bridges for bike trail cause confusion 03/17/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 17, 2012 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police take boy out of home where sister was shot

    News

    TAMPA — Lizette Hernandez watched a Tampa police officer remove her 19-month-old son from her in-laws' house, the same home where earlier this month her 4-year-old daughter was shot to death.

    Nelly Zoller snuggles with her grandfather's dog, Venus. Her father says she went looking for candy in her grandmother's purse and found a gun instead. [Facebook]
  2. Rick Scott announces support for new legislation, $50 million to fight opioid crisis

    State Roundup

    Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday that he is calling for a series of new proposals to fight the opioid epidemic in Florida, including $50 million in new funding.

    Gov. Rick Scott announced on Sept. 26, 2017, that he is calling for a series of new proposals to fight the opioid epidemic in Florida, including $50 million in new funding. [Associated Press file photo]
  3. Republicans to unveil broad tax cuts Wednesday, put off tough decisions

    Business

    President Donald Trump and top Republicans will promise a package of sweeping tax cuts for companies and individuals, the Washington Post reports, but the GOP leaders will stop short of labeling many of the tax breaks they hope to strip away, putting off controversial decisions that threaten to sink the party's tax …

    President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Washington. [Alex Brandon | Associated Press]
  4. Double your fun: Twitter's testing a 280-character limit for tweets

    News

    Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey last year made a definitive announcement about the company's famous 140-character count amid rumors that the firm would substantially relax the limit. "It's staying," Dorsey told the "Today" show's Matt Lauer. "It's a good constraint for us."

    In this 2013, file photo, the Twitter logo appears on an updated phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. [AP photo]
  5. Dead woman with sun tattoo found near elementary school

    News

    TAMPA --- She had a tattoo of a sun on her abdomen, with the words "The World is Mine."