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GROAN NOW, GAIN LATERCLOSED LANES: PRICE OF PROGRESS

Life has two certainties: death and taxes, and maybe a third - those taxes' being used for new construction. St. Petersburg drivers have been forced to throw their hands up and put their foot down on the brakes as five major projects have created ongoing detours.

The city and state are spending millions to upgrade key traffic signals, sidewalks, roads, interstates and sewers. Some projects date back to early March. Some will not be completed until next summer.

Joe Kubicki, St. Petersburg director of transportation planning and parking management, said the city's well-developed grid system allows traffic to be diverted with minimal confusion.

"Construction impacts traffic all the time," he said. "I think that traffic is being managed very well around each one of these projects."

John McShaffrey, a public information officer for the Florida Department of Transportation, warns non-rush-hour drivers that they could experience five- to 10-minute delays and rougher roads.

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