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Stimulus outlay gets green light on King Street S

ST. PETERSBURG — The city will use nearly half a million dollars in stimulus money to build hurricane-resistant traffic signals in neighborhoods in Midtown.

The City Council recently approved using $442,000 to build mast arms in the Cromwell Heights/Bartlett Park area.

The stimulus money will cover half the construction, said Joshua Johnson of the city's housing and community development department. The mast arms will be built at the intersections of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street S at 18th and 22nd avenues.

The city could have used the stimulus money for a number of projects that create or retain jobs, improve energy efficiency, modernize infrastructure or expand access to health care.

Instead, Johnson said his department looked at projects already in the city's capital improvement plan for a match.

The construction will employ about a dozen people.

Construction of mast arms — the large steel poles that hold the traffic signal — typically costs nearly $400,000 per intersection, said Kris Carson, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

Clearwater spent more than $450,000 for mast arm signals at Island Way and Windward Passage.

The St. Petersburg project also includes more than $25,000 to build sidewalks in low- and moderate-income areas and $70,000 to pave the Grandview Park parking lot.

Jackie Alexander can be reached at (727) 893-8779 or jdalexander@sptimes.com.

Stimulus outlay gets green light on King Street S 05/30/09 [Last modified: Saturday, May 30, 2009 4:30am]

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