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Work on Gulf Boulevard in Indian Rocks Beach is ahead of schedule

Folks who use Gulf Boulevard in Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores have no doubt developed barricade fatigue due to the seemingly interminable construction project that runs from Park Boulevard to Walsingham Road.

Work began in late 2007 on the 3-mile stretch from the Indian Rocks Beach causeway to the Park Boulevard Bridge. The original completion date was August 2009, but there's reason for hope: The project is ahead of schedule, and the light at the end of the tunnel is looking brighter with each passing day.

The project has morphed the section of Gulf Boulevard from what was once a mostly two-lane, undivided road to a wider pedestrian and bike-friendly corridor. Upgrades include new shoulders with bike and foot paths, new reclaimed water mains, and improved sewer facilities.

Pinellas County Utilities has managed the project in collaboration with the state Department of Transportation and Indian Rocks Beach.

Work that still needs to be completed includes installation of new PSTA bus stops and laying down permeable asphalt north from 200th Avenue to Walsingham Road.

New guardrails will be installed soon, and three dozen parking spaces will be marked.

One of the reasons the project has gone so smoothly, county staffers say, is that we have had so little severe storm activity and the past two hurricane seasons have been quiet. Let's hope the trend continues.

For updates on the project, visit www.pinellascounty.org/GulfBlvd.

Potholes to be patched

The bumpy ride along the Pinellas Bayway eastbound should be smoother soon.

Reader Warren Schwarz contacted the Doc recently to alert us about potholes that have been blossoming and growing larger by the day along the Bayway near the ramp to northbound Interstate 275.

We passed the information along to Kris Carson of the DOT, and Carson told us that maintenance workers will check the area and patch any potholes they find.

Bus pass just for kids

The school year will end in just two weeks, and some kids may be at loose ends for transportation. Parents may be happy to know that PSTA is offering a special bus pass to help get kids around during the summer break.

PSTA's "Haul Pass" costs $35 for kids 18 and younger and is good for the entire summer. That means kids can get unlimited transportation for about $2.40 a week, and the pass is valid for all routes with the exception of the 100X and 300X routes to Tampa.

Haul Passes can be purchased at PSTA terminals and ticket outlets throughout the county.

For a list of outlets or to buy Haul Passes online, go to www.PSTA.net. Students will need a school or government-issued ID to use the Haul Pass, or they can obtain a PSTA Youth ID with proof of age at a PSTA terminal. Haul Passes are valid on PSTA buses between May 15 and Aug. 31. Call (727) 540-1900 for information.

Please e-mail Dr. Delay at docdelay@yahoo.com to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions.

Work on Gulf Boulevard in Indian Rocks Beach is ahead of schedule 05/16/09 [Last modified: Saturday, May 16, 2009 4:30am]
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