Reader Rand Moorhead has been a regular correspondent of the Doc's for months because of his concern about the lack of streetlights at the Lealman intersection of Haines Road and 62nd Avenue N. Moorhead's observation is that the intersection is quite busy with traffic and an increasing number of pedestrians. He fears that a nighttime traffic fatality is inevitable. Moorhead has been trying to call attention to the issue, including contacting Progress Energy and the county's public works department.
The Doc passed Moorhead's concerns along to the folks at Pinellas County and received a response from Thomas Washburn, an engineer with the department of environment and infrastructure. Washburn's team followed up a previous study of the intersection.
"We reviewed the three-year crash history between January 2008 and December 2010 — there have been 29 crashes during this time period. Four of those occurred during nighttime conditions — two of these were attributed to aggressive driving and none were attributed to a lack of lighting," Washburn wrote last week. Based on this, the county cannot justify the addition of streetlights.
Moorhead says he is disappointed but hopes everyone who travels through the area in the evening will be alert to pedestrians crossing.
Here's a resourceful idea for a field trip
Reader Mohammed Majid asked us to fill him in on what's happening with heavy equipment he sees on 118th Avenue N between 34th and 40th streets:
"I have been seeing a boat or some kind of carrier with heavy machinery in the pond on the south side of 118th Avenue. … Occasionally, it is operational with some lights in the evening hours, and every time I see it at a different spot in the pond."
The Doc learned that the pond is the water storage facility for the 700-acre solid-waste landfill area known as Bridgeway Acres, a "waste-to-energy" site, which means that 85 percent of the waste received is recycled or converted to energy.
The nighttime operation Majid mentioned is routine maintenance dredging and part of work to make the pond deeper to provide more storage, according to Robert Hauser Jr. of the county's environment department.
"If you look to the east of our facility (east of 28th Street) you will see several large basins that have been constructed and to which the dredge spoil is being hydraulically pumped. It can be seen clearly from the new connector highway from 118th Avenue to I-275. The dredging operation is generally 24-7 with occasional stoppages for maintenance and repair," Hauser said.
The project is expected to be completed in January. Read more at pinellascounty.org/utilities/ landfill.htm. And if you're interested in seeing how it all works, Hauser is happy to provide tours to interested citizens. Sounds like a cool field trip for a science class!
Rejoice, Seminole motorists: Milling of Duhme Road between the Tom Stuart Causeway and 54th Avenue N has begun. Work to resurface the road should last about two weeks.
Until next week, happy and safe motoring!
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