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Lane closure at Bay Pines should clear up

There's a construction project across from the Bay Pines VA Medical Center, on Bay Pines Boulevard at 100th Way. My question concerns the closure of the westbound right lane of Bay Pines Boulevard. There was some road construction many weeks ago to add a new driveway, but there hasn't been any road work for weeks and the lane is still closed, causing very long backups, especially during rush hour. Assuming they aren't just preparing us for the new Walmart traffic, why is this lane closure allowed to still be in place? How long can they just arbitrarily close a lane for nonexistent construction?

KC Bomonti

The closure of the far right westbound lane of Bay Pines Boulevard, which forces traffic to merge from three lanes to two has indeed been in force to accommodate the large development project under way, which includes residential and large commercial retail construction.

This closure is what the state Department of Transportation refers to as a semipermanent lane closure. The DOT says it monitors and inspects the site regularly to ensure compliance with required standards such as use of advance warning signs, arrow boards and lighted drums.

"The closure had been required to remain in place for safety purposes," DOT spokeswoman Kris Carson said. The work has recently reached a point that the need for the semipermanent closure is no longer required, and Carson says the DOT office has directed the developer to open the lane to traffic when it is not required. This means the developer may utilize the lane closure again as needed (whenever work is being performed along the frontage road).

Barricade watch

•Bayshore Drive is closed today from Second to Fifth avenues NE from 6 a.m. to approximately 5 p.m. with parking restrictions in effect within the closure area. The Bayshore closure is due to an exotic car show in front of the Museum of Fine Arts, part of the MFA's Wine Weekend event. Law enforcement officers will be on hand to assist with traffic. Congestion is expected to be light.

•In Clearwater, repaving of Mandalay Avenue begins Monday. Work will start at the Clearwater Beach roundabout to Baymont Street; along Baymont Street from the beach to the Intracoastal Waterway, including parking stalls on the north and south sides of the street; along the parking lanes on southbound Mandalay Avenue; East Shore Drive and Poinsettia from Baymont to Papaya; and Papaya east of Poinsettia. The project is expected to be complete Friday. Work will be done at night, but be prepared for lane closures.

The second phase of construction of the Courtney Campbell pedestrian trail will require the closure of the Courtney Campbell Beach parking lot at Damascus Road in Clearwater through spring, which will impact spring break traffic. The state Department of Transportation project is under way from the Pinellas County border to Bayshore Boulevard in Clearwater; the completion date is March 2015.

Email Dr. Delay at docdelay@gmail.com to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions or follow @AskDrDelay on Twitter.

Lane closure at Bay Pines should clear up 02/06/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 7, 2014 12:40pm]
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