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Trail extension should fix overpass to nowhere

I live off U.S. 19 near the Progress Energy Trail pedestrian overpass (in Clearwater). I know that years ago it was supposed to eventually follow the electric towers all the way to Bright House Field. Right now, it ends at a metal fence. It seems to only serve one purpose — getting me across U.S. 19 on my bike without having to risk my life if it weren't there. I'm just always curious — are there still plans to finish the trail or is it completely dead? Is it a money issue or something else? I would love to see it completed and I'm sure many residents in this same area would also.

Jay Harris

Pinellas County's capital improvement budget for fiscal year 2013, which began Monday, includes $2.4 million for completion of the section of the trail from the pedestrian overpass at U.S. 19 near Enterprise Road to Bright House Field. Pinellas County is in the process of working with Progress Energy on renewing the contract associated with the trail. Once the contract renewal is completed, Progress Energy will concentrate efforts on the completion of the design, bidding and construction of the segment between Enterprise and Bright House Field, a county spokesperson said.

Other allocations in the county's capital improvement budget include $4.7 million toward the total $31.6 million cost of the Keystone Road widening project (taking it from two to four lanes from U.S. 19 to East Lake Road), set to be finished next summer; $7.5 million for expansion of the intelligent traffic management technology project, which includes installation of closed-circuit TV cameras, vehicle detection and dynamic message signs along State Roads 580 (Main Street), 568 (Curlew Road), 584 (Tampa Road) and McMullen-Booth Road; $3.5 million for improvements to Gulf Boulevard; and $1.7 million for the LaPlaza Bridge replacement. View the detailed budget presentation online at tinyurl.com/8rt9yxr.

Barricade watch

• Preparations for two events in Clearwater — the annual Hispanic Heritage concert, set for Oct. 14 in Coachman Park, and the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, set for Oct. 18-21, will close Cleveland Street from the waterfront to Fort Harrison Avenue and Drew Street from Cleveland Street to Osceola Avenue starting Tuesday. The full closure of the roads will be in effect until Oct. 22, with traffic detoured via Park Street.

• Milling and resurfacing of 49th Street from Fifth Avenue N to 86th Avenue N, which began in August, is set to be completed Friday.

• The northbound lane of Douglas Avenue in Dunedin will be closed from Main Street to 911 Douglas Ave. for approximately one month due to a water main replacement project. Work is projected to wrap up in early November.

• Work to install intelligent traffic management and dynamic sign equipment on Tampa Road from McMullen-Booth Road to U.S. 19; Curlew Road from McMullen-Booth Road to U.S. 19; Main Street/State Road 580 from McMullen-Booth Road to U.S. 19; and Drew Street from McMullen- Booth Road to U.S. 19 is scheduled to be completed Nov. 1. In the meantime, expect intermittent delays and lane closures.

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

Trail extension should fix overpass to nowhere 10/06/12 [Last modified: Saturday, October 6, 2012 5:30am]

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