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Traffic snarls bay area

Getting to the beach wasn't a problem Saturday, but getting back was.

Motorists waited for nearly an hour in afternoon traffic heading out of the Pass-a-Grille area of St. Petersburg Beach as construction workers installed a reclaimed water line.

Cars crawled on the Sunshine Skyway as well. State troopers say a two-car collision caused the northbound backup. Some drivers reported being stuck in Los Angeles-style congestion as they crossed Tampa Bay.

It was worse on St. Petersburg Beach, where about 400 feet of Pass-a-Grille Way is reduced to a single lane, meaning one direction of traffic stops while the other flows. Police Sgt. Gene King described the mess as an "hour-glass trying to run sand through the narrow portion both ways."

Police spent an hour unsnarling traffic after flag-waving construction workers could not move cars fast enough.