Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

State paid for palm trees, plants near Howard Frankland Bridge

Recently, a large number of palm trees were planted on both sides of Interstate 275 just south of the Howard Frankland Bridge. I'm told that they cost from $5,000 to $8,000 per tree. I'd like to know who paid for them.

George Richardson

Here's what was planted: 58 Washington palm trees, seven Sylvester date palm trees, and 8,650 square feet of perennial peanut ground cover. The plantings were a city of St. Petersburg project in partnership with the state Department of Transportation. The plants were paid for by the DOT's highway landscape budget (per Florida statute, the agency is required to spend this amount on landscaping), according to Kris Carson of the DOT. The cost of the landscape project at the Howard Frankland Bridge site, including the palms, was $269,995.62.

When the work is finally finished at U.S. 19 and State Road 60, will traffic again be able to go from the east end of Druid Road across to Costco and Target?

The short answer is no.

Carson says that when the work is complete, drivers entering the southbound service road at Druid Road will not be able to turn left at Seville Boulevard. That's because of the new two-lane exit coming from southbound U.S. 19 just north of the Seville intersection. Those two exit lanes (one will be a through lane; the other a left-turn lane) will converge with the service road at the intersection. At that point, Carson says, the exit lanes and southbound service road lane will be side by side and separated by a barrier wall.

To get to Costco and Target, drivers will have to stay on the service road for another mile to the U-turn at Belleair Road. After making the U-turn, drivers will have to head north on the service road back to Seville Boulevard.

While heading a mile in the opposite direction sounds like a drag, Carson says there's an upside.

"Keep in mind that the drive down the service road is free-flow with no signals until they return to Seville on the northbound side.''

Barricade watch:

•The Folk Fest St. Pete, which began Friday, continues today with the closure of Central Avenue between 11th and 13th streets until approximately 7 p.m. In addition, parking restrictions will be in place along Baum Avenue N from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street to 13th Street.

• In Pinellas Park, westbound 110th Avenue is closed at 49th Street for about two weeks. The southbound curb lane of 49th Street will be closed daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for the same period. Signs will mark detours for 49th Street traffic.

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

State paid for palm trees, plants near Howard Frankland Bridge 10/31/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 1, 2013 12:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO


    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Roger Berdusco is stepping down as CEO at Triad Retail Media to pursue other opportunities. [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  2. What to watch this week: Fall TV kicks off with 'Will & Grace,' 'Young Sheldon,' return of 'This Is Us'


    September temperatures are still creeping into the 90s, but fall officially started a few days ago. And with that designation comes the avalanche of new and returning TV shows. The Big Bang Theory fans get a double dose of Sheldon Cooper's nerdisms with the return of the titular series for an eleventh season and …

    Sean Hayes, Debra Messing and Megan Mullally in Will & Grace.
  3. Eight refueling jets from Arkansas, 250 people heading to new home at MacDill


    TAMPA — The number of KC-135 refueling jets at MacDill Air Force Base will grow from 18 to 24 with the return of a squadron that once called Tampa home.

    A KC-135 Stratotanker, a military aerial refueling jet, undergoes maintenance at MacDill Air Force Base. The planes, many flying since the late 1950s, are now being flown more than twice as much as scheduled because of ongoing foreign conflicts. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs couldn't connect on or stop deep passes in loss to Vikings


    If two things were established as storylines entering Sunday's Bucs-Vikings game, it was that Tampa Bay was still struggling to establish the deep passes that were missing from its offense last year, and that …

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) gets into the end zone for a long touchdown reception as Bucs free safety Chris Conte (23) cannot stop him during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Alejandro Villanueva, Steelers player and Army vet who stood alone, now has the NFL's top-selling jersey


    CHICAGO — When the national anthem started at Soldier Field on Sunday, the visiting sideline was mostly empty. The most prominent evidence of the Pittsburgh Steelers was offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger, standing all by himself near the tunnel, holding his right hand over his heart.

    Alejandro Villanueva stands alone during the national anthem at Soldier Field in Chicago. [Associated Press]