Another closure is planned for the Belleair Causeway Bridge this week with overnight shutdowns scheduled from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday to allow for work to be done above the existing drawbridge. The recommended detour route from the beaches to the mainland is Gulf Boulevard south through Indian Rocks Beach to Walsingham Road/State Road 686, and over the Intracoastal Waterway bridge. Recent rain moved the closure back by one day; this phase of work was originally planned to begin Monday and last until Tuesday.
Workers will remove temporary support structures on the new bridge during the closures. County officials say the bridge replacement project is on schedule and has now reached the halfway point.
For more information on the project, visit the dedicated Web site, which has news and updates as well as a live Web cam of the progress, www.belleaircausewaybridge.com.
Crews trying to keep up with vegetation boom
The regular rain has spurred plant growth around town, so much so that maintenance crews are challenged trying to keep up. Some of the overgrowth near roadways is creating safety concerns.
The Doc has been receiving complaints from readers about overgrown grassy areas adjacent to interstate entrance and exit ramps. Grass has grown so high in some locations that visibility is obstructed.
One example is the grassy area at the end of Interstate 275's 22nd Avenue S exit. The grass was waist-high last week, which was a concern for lower-sitting vehicles as the sight line of oncoming traffic was blocked. We spoke with Cliff Footlick, director of the city's Parks Department, who said his crews maintain the landscaping in the medians around town, but the DOT contracts with outside vendors to maintain the grassy turf areas around interstate ramps. We checked in with the DOT and learned that large machine mowing is easier and faster for workers to do, so those areas are done first, then workers go in on foot to cut the remainder. Most of the overgrown areas were mowed last week within a few days of our inquiry.
Storm sewer work will restrict Park Boulevard
Night work on multiple storm sewer crossings on Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park between 59th and 66th Streets will close two lanes of traffic beginning Aug. 24. The stretch of Park Boulevard is scheduled to be milled and repaved with work expected to last about four days. Traffic will be diverted down to one lane overnight as work progresses.
Please e-mail Dr. Delay at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions. Check out Dr. Delay's Bay News 9 blog at www.baynews9.com/DrDelay.html to read more about commuting issues.