Monday, February 19, 2018
Transportation

Gandy overpass construction won't be finished until fall because of rain delays

After missing a spring completion date, engineers working on the Gandy Boulevard construction project pushed the completion date to this summer.

Now they say it won't be done until the fall.

The $83 million, 2.5-mile project started 3 ½ years ago with the goal of clearing up heavy traffic congestion in northeast St. Petersburg by adding six elevated lanes to Gandy Boulevard.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Night crews on $83 million Gandy project too loud for some residents

Drivers are already using some of the overpasses: Two westbound elevated lanes were opened over the weekend , and two eastbound elevated lanes are scheduled to open Friday. But that also depends on the weather.

The Florida Department of Transportation originally predicted that Gandy construction would finish ahead of schedule, but senior project engineer Marty Sanchez said recent heavy rains have delayed construction workers.

Some locals lamented that construction will continue for another few months.

Patty Russell, 72, works at a Mobil gas station at Gandy Boulevard and Fourth Street N.

"It's been really frustrating to navigate through," she said.

She worries that the number of people coming into the gas station will drop when the overpass part of the project is finished.

The DOT estimates that more than 57,000 people take Gandy Boulevard east of Interstate 275, and that many of them cross through crowded intersections as they do so, slowing movement.

The Gandy expansion project was aimed at solving that problem by carrying traffic over crowded intersections via elevated lanes instead of through them.

When the construction is finished, six such lanes will stretch from I-275 east to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street and four of the lanes will continue from King Street over Fourth Street N.

Three additional overpasses will be completed at 94th Avenue N, King Street at Roosevelt Boulevard N and Fourth Street N.

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