Saturday, June 23, 2018
Transportation

Rougher road is designed for safety

I regularly travel U.S. 19 from Clearwater to the Pasco County line. In recent months, most of the roadway has been resurfaced with nice new smooth asphalt. However, I've noticed that the new smooth surface is now being repaved again, but this time with a very coarse surface. What is going on?

Joe Wink

The smooth asphalt you refer to is what's known as the structural asphalt layer. It has been covered with a final layer, called a friction course. According to the state Department of Transportation, some areas of the U.S. 19 project require a friction course, which will be applied before the project is completed.

The function of the friction course layer, which is porous, is to enhance safety by allowing water to drain through the material and away from the road. This helps improve drainage and reduces hydroplaning in wet conditions.

Hi, Doc. It has become very noticeable with the heavy rains in this area that Belcher Road floods from one side to the other because of the storm drains being blocked by round black dams that have been in place for several months since the road was repaved. Mainly, the drains just to the north of 118th Avenue on the west side by the vacant land have caused "Lake Belcher" to form on many days. Can you help or should I buy a rowboat?

Mike Shirmer

No need for a seafaring vessel. The storm drain barriers were installed during construction to keep debris, sediment, and other materials out of the drainage system. Now that the work is complete, the contractor has been asked to remove the devices, according to a spokeswoman for Pinellas County.

Barricade watch

• Construction on the concrete bridge at the intersection of U.S. 19 and Belleair Road will affect traffic from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly. The installation of beams requires detours during these hours, as well as moving traffic from two lanes to one during this phase, which is scheduled to last until Aug. 15.

• Sidewalk upgrade work along 62nd Avenue N from 71st Street to 49th Street should be completed next week; in the meantime, use caution and be prepared for delays and lane closures.

Email Dr. Delay at [email protected] to share your traffic concerns or follow @AskDrDelay.mot

Comments
SunPass charges will soon be showing up again on customer accounts — without late fees

SunPass charges will soon be showing up again on customer accounts — without late fees

It has been more than two weeks since SunPass customers have been able to access their accounts after the Florida toll service took down its website for system maintenance.While SunPass continues to accumulate toll charges since the maintenance perio...
Published: 06/22/18
Petition language reveals details of Hillsborough sales tax transportation initiative

Petition language reveals details of Hillsborough sales tax transportation initiative

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections on Friday approved petition language that will let a new group of transportation advocates begin gathering the 48,000 signatures they need to get a sales tax initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot.All ...
Published: 06/15/18
Carlton: A trolley instead of a boondoggle? About time, Tampa

Carlton: A trolley instead of a boondoggle? About time, Tampa

You could rightly call the vintage streetcars that trundle between downtown Tampa and Ybor City big, beautiful boondoggles.Charming?Yes. An integral part of this city’s unique history?Absolutely.And in their current incarnation, overpriced, inefficie...
Published: 06/15/18
Federal judge halts work on Suncoast 2 toll road

Federal judge halts work on Suncoast 2 toll road

U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. granted a temporary restraining order on Thursday to halt the work that has already begun on the extension of the Suncoast Parkway — aka the controversial "Suncoast 2."The toll road now ends at U.S. 98 at the n...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Hillsborough group pushing new referendum on raising sales tax for transportation

Hillsborough group pushing new referendum on raising sales tax for transportation

TAMPA — In 2010, Hillsborough voters soundly rejected a 1 cent sales tax hike backed by their elected leaders to raise billions of dollars for roads, bus expansion and light rail. In 2016, county commissioners helped develop a new transportation plan...
Published: 06/14/18
SunPass apologizes to customers who couldn’t access accounts after website maintenance

SunPass apologizes to customers who couldn’t access accounts after website maintenance

Users were unable to access their SunPass accounts on Monday after the release of a system redesign that took the system’s web site, app and hotlines down for a week.From June 5-11, the SunPass website, hotlines and mobile app were taken down for sys...
Published: 06/14/18
Elon Musk to build 125 mph underground transit line serving Chicago O’Hare

Elon Musk to build 125 mph underground transit line serving Chicago O’Hare

Elon Musk has taken on a task perhaps more challenging than launching rockets into space: getting passengers from Chicago’s O’Hare airport to the Loop in 12 minutes, roughly three to four times as fast as the current taxi journey.The plan for the "Ch...
Published: 06/14/18
This trooper pulled over a driver - then realized the man had delivered him nearly 27 years ago

This trooper pulled over a driver - then realized the man had delivered him nearly 27 years ago

New Jersey state trooper Michael Patterson was on patrol recently when he pulled over a white BMW for a routine traffic stop.He asked the driver for his license and registration, and the two started making small talk. It turned out that the driver, M...
Published: 06/13/18
Fares eliminated on downtown Tampa trolley following FDOT grant

Fares eliminated on downtown Tampa trolley following FDOT grant

TAMPA — Fares on the TECO Line Streetcar in downtown Tampa will be eliminated for three years following a grant funded by the Florida Department of Transportation.The grant provide $2.67 million to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit, allowing it to t...
Published: 06/12/18
Tampa road work forces office workers to wait up to an hour to get out of their parking garage every day

Tampa road work forces office workers to wait up to an hour to get out of their parking garage every day

TAMPA — At 42 floors tall, the largest office building on Florida’s Gulf Coast offers some spectacular views.But good luck getting out of it.Since the start of a $5.7 million street resurfacing project late last year on Kennedy Boulevard and Jackson ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18