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Lorrie Lykins, Times Correspondent

Lorrie Lykins writes Dr. Delay, a column about traffic and commuting in the bay area. Send her tips, story ideas and questions at the email address below.


  1. Uneven pavement on Gulf Boulevard should smooth out when project's done


    I read your recent article regarding the construction on Gulf Boulevard in St. Pete Beach. As a resident of SPB who travels the length of Gulf Boulevard daily, I was happy to hear about the transition to night-time road construction/paving. But I wonder if anyone else has commented on the terrible paving job. There is about a 2-inch height difference between the lanes and the median, which is very awkward when crossing over. Also, the thickness of the tar on the lanes seems to be lower, because now the manhole covers in both lanes stick up a lot higher than before near the Don CeSar until 45th Avenue or so. It makes the tires thud heavily and feels like wear and tear on them, and I notice many cars swerving around them....

  2. Work below ground delays Curlew Road project


    What are they doing on Curlew Road at Countryside Boulevard? Nothing seems to be getting done.

    Karen Fulton

    What you're seeing is a $1.4 million Florida Department of Transportation project to improve Curlew Road (State Road 586). The DOT has contracted with Hubbard Construction to rebuild the curb lanes along Curlew Road between Countrybrook Drive and Landmark Drive in Palm Harbor, which also affects Countryside Boulevard....

  3. Cost a factor in lack of Ulmerton Road turn lanes


    Even though I try to avoid Ulmerton Road, I do have to drive west from Starkey Road to Lake Avenue SE, which is where I turn to go home. I've noticed the nice new sidewalk in place of a much-needed turn lane that was there before the construction started more than four years ago. Is there ever going to be a turn lane again if and when they finish this disgustingly slow project? Who do I write to in regards to this dumb decision for a sidewalk instead of a right turn lane? Trust me, there is not enough pedestrian traffic there to warrant the sidewalk but there is plenty of traffic turning onto Lake Avenue. Judy Jensen...

  4. No changes planned for Seville Boulevard access in Clearwater


    I can get to my home in the Seville Condos, on Seville Boulevard behind the Clearwater Mall, from U.S. 19 going north or south but, from Gulf-to-Bay (State Road 60), I have to drive through the mall parking lot. Is there any plan for residents of the apartments back here to be able to get home more easily? I thought there would be a left-turn lane from the access road that goes past Sam's Club, but that doesn't look possible....

  5. Gulf Boulevard paving project in St. Pete Beach has been delayed


    Can you advise how long the current repaving of Gulf Boulevard in St. Pete Beach will continue? I also heard a rumor that there is more involved construction to be performed at this location.

    Harold Butler

    There's plenty of asphalt and barricade fatigue to go around on St. Pete Beach, judging by the volume of emails and phone calls coming in to the Doc on this one....

  6. New road marking means share road with cyclists


    What is the new symbol on 62nd Avenue N between 66th and 49th Streets? Was 62nd Avenue converted to a bike trail and they didn't tell us?

    Monti Rik

    The new pavement marking you refer to (a bicycle with two arrows above it) is a lane-sharing symbol known as a "sharrow." When a sharrow is present it means that a cyclist may legally use the full lane.

    This is a safety improvement element that is endorsed by Pinellas County's Metropolitan Planning Organization. The MPO's long-range transportation plan addresses specific safety concerns countywide, and part of this encourages the installation of bicycle lanes on major roads via resurfacing, reconstruction or restriping projects. When these options aren't feasible, sharrows are an alternative to provide continuity of travel for cyclists and safer access to destinations countywide....

    This lane-sharing symbol will be showing up on signs and roads where bike lanes aren’t possible. It’s a reminder that bicycles are entitled to use the full lane.
  7. Dr. Delay: NE Coachman project scheduled to last until May


    Recently, an electronic sign went up one-quarter mile east of U.S. 19 on State Road 590 in Clearwater advising of construction slated to last until May 1. Can you find out what this is about and how much it might disrupt traffic on this two-lane road?

    David White

    The signs refer to a $4 million state Department of Transportation project to improve the traffic signals and lighting at the intersections of NE Coachman at Belcher Road and U.S. 19. The scope of the project will affect a 2-mile section of State Road 590 from Drew Street to Audrey Drive....

  8. I-275 stretch through St. Petersburg to be studied


    I have been hearing that there's a plan to do something about some of the crazy and dangerous lane merges on I-275 where it runs through St. Petersburg. Is this true and what exactly is happening?

    The state Department of Transportation is in the midst of a study that is examining the 16-mile stretch of I-275 from a little bit south of 54th Avenue S to north of Fourth Street N. Known as a "PD&E study," for project development and environment, everything from how to improve traffic flow, the location and design of the corridor, and how it affects the environment, to include socioeconomic concerns, is under consideration....

  9. Tom Stuart Causeway to get a yearlong rehab


    I see signs that have been placed on the side of southbound Duhme Road/Alt. U.S. 19 and westbound Bay Pines Boulevard that say there will be bridge work from July of this year until July 2016. What work and what bridge are these signs referring to?

    The signs denote a state Department of Transportation project to repair and rehabilitate the Tom Stuart Causeway, known locally as the Madeira Beach Bridge and the Welch Causeway. The work planned for the 53-year-old bridge includes reinforcing the concrete support beams and the structure's foundation, improvements to the bridge tender's house at the apex and repairs to the decking....

  10. There's a good reason for the gaps in highway sound barrier walls


    There is an increasing use of sound barrier walls along sections of the interstate and along local roads. As I understand it, these walls are intended to reduce traffic noise in homes adjacent to the roadway. I can understand that, and there is a lot of information on design and effectiveness of these walls, but some have holes in them.

    For example, there is a stretch of these panels along the south side of Ulmerton Road at the 113th Street intersection. About every fifth panel has what appears to be an access hole, about two feet in diameter, located about four feet above the ground. I have also noted similar holes on sound barriers along I-75 on the way to Sarasota after the I-275 junction. What purpose do these holes serve? I've researched these walls online, and can find no mention of these holes. Can you use your resources to find out what purpose the holes serve?...

  11. One Ulmerton Road widening project ends by Thanksgiving, another drags on to 2017


    What's happening with Ulmerton Road? Judging by the number of requests for updates we've received from construction-fatigued motorists, lots of folks want to know. After all, about 250,000 vehicles traverse that major thoroughfare at its peak on weekdays.

    If it seems like the work has been ongoing for years, you're correct: it has been nearly four years and counting. The state Department of Transportation has three distinct projects, totaling a combined $64.1 million, under way along the Ulmerton Road corridor: Ulmerton from Seminole Bypass Canal to El Ranchero; Ulmerton from 49th Street to 38th Street; and Ulmerton from 38th Street to Interstate 275. The oldest project began back in 2012....

    The Florida Department of Transportation has three projects totaling $64.1 million under way along the Ulmerton Road corridor. This is Ulmerton just west of Belcher Road earlier this week.
  12. Work on Ridge Road ran into unforeseen problems


    Can you please tell me why the road work on Ridge Road between Valencia and 15th Avenue SW in Largo is taking so long? I live on a cul-de-sac that has been bombarded with traffic since the closure first occurred. There are no detour signs back in this neighborhood telling people how to get back onto Ulmerton Road, thus they end up on our dead end road, constantly! I realize all the rain we had delayed it for a time, but it has been weeks and no progress....

  13. Timing of lights on U.S. 19 should be getting better


    The improvements made to U.S. 19 in central Pinellas County are great. The problem is now from State Road 580 north, in particular, the timing of lights at Innisbrook and U.S. 19 and Spruce Street and U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs are not in sync with the lights at Alderman Road. This is a new development for the light at Innisbrook and an ongoing issue for the light at Spruce Street. Innisbrook was in perfect sync with Alderman forever, but now approximately 150 cars that just passed through Alderman have to stop so six or eight cars can pass through this intersection in the east/west direction. Exact same situation at Spruce Street, except this light has never been timed coherently with Tarpon Avenue since installation. With a Lowe's store going in at this location soon, this is only going to get much worse. I suggest that with no further improvements to U.S. 19 in this area on the horizon, focus should be on light timing and new traffic control technology on U.S. 19 north from State Road 580 to the county line....

  14. New software causing headaches at key Seminole intersection


    I would like to ask if you can find out who changed the traffic light pattern at Park and Seminole Boulevards. During rush hour, Park Boulevard backs up westbound through the light at Home Depot, causing major issues. Cars are running the red light to enter and leave Home Depot due to the backups. It now takes an additional 10 to 12 minutes to clear this intersection and anyone who lives in Seminole usually has to travel this area on a daily basis....

  15. Bridge over Riviera Bay being studied


    Is it true that the San Martin Boulevard Bridge will be replaced soon?

    An environmental study on the effect of replacing the San Martin Bridge over Riviera Bay kicked off this month. Pinellas County is leading the project, which includes gathering community input in the current preliminary phase. The area being studied is from Tallahassee Drive to Weedon/Ridgeway Drive. An additional project will evaluate possible improvements to the trail from Macoma Drive to Gandy Boulevard. For more information and to view documents related to the study, go to bridge....