Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Transportation

No change planned for Pinellas Trail shortcut; Keystone project drags on

I often bike a portion of the Pinellas Trail, traveling from Gulfport to see my doctor at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. In the vicinity just east of 28th Street, the trail veers north where I wish to continue due east on Seventh Avenue S. Via a short, rocky path, I usually depart the trail and go through a hole in the fence to Seventh Avenue S and continue on my way to Bayfront. It would be an improvement if this spur of less than 10 yards could be paved for those departing the trail there. It is obvious that this shortcut is often used. Maybe you can help.

Blair Libby

We asked Mike Frederick, St. Petersburg's transportation manager, to fill us in on this. Frederick says that the hole in the fence you referenced was not identified as an access point when the trail was built.

"We subsequently saw that the public had removed the fence and were using this area, which is to an unopened roadway allowance along Seventh Avenue S, so, we went back and had our contractor install an opening in the fence, but we have no plans at this time to hard-surface a pathway from the trail to Seventh Avenue,'' Frederick said.

This may change, as the city is working with Pinellas County to fund modifications at other spots along the trail west of 34th Street. Frederick says they can add an assessment of all locations east of 34th Street to the project and determine if funding can be obtained to complete those as well.

The Keystone Road project seems to drag on and on. Your last mention indicated that there were a few items to complete, and it would be completed by Christmas. It is now January with no end in sight. I live on Keystone and go up and down the road every day. Occasionally one would see something done, but most of the time no work seemed to be happening. There may be a few items to complete, but they do not seem to be working on them. A few people have expressed the cynical view that they are deliberately delaying completion so the police can make more money issuing tickets, which they have been doing gleefully almost daily. I hate to think this is true. So what is the real reason for the delay?

Bill Stewart

We asked Pinellas County traffic engineers for a rundown of the tasks that remain on the to-do list. Here they are: Wall repair at Camelia Avenue and Keystone (the intersection has been blocked off for months). Apparently parts need to be fabricated for the repair.

Next, extensive concrete work, which includes replacing broken curbs, sidewalks and ramps. (The Keystone project has more than 12 miles of curbing and 8 miles of sidewalk and trail.)

Fencing needs to be completed, as do repairs to storm drain inlets.

The reduced speed limit of 35 mph is still in place in order to maintain a safe environment for workers.

We have a new completion date for all of the above: the end of January. Stay tuned.

Barricade watch

In Largo, 128th Avenue N is closed between 116th and 118th streets for sewer repair and related work until Jan. 17. Detours are set up; expect delays and congestion.

In Clearwater, Court Street between Missouri and Highland avenues is under construction to upgrade sidewalks and pedestrian signals and resurface the road. The work is expected to last until early May. Detours are in place. Suggested alternate routes are Gulf-to-Bay, Cleveland Street and Myrtle Street.

Dr. Delay can be reached at [email protected] Follow @AskDrDelay on Twitter.

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