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DETOURS AHEAD FOR CROSSING AT LINEBAUGH-RACETRACK

Construction has been postponed at the intersection of Linebaugh Avenue and Racetrack Road. A project to raise the road level is expected to begin Sept. 25, weather permitting.

Officials, who had originally planned to begin the work this weekend, recommend that drivers avoid the area once the project does get under way. Douglas Road and Hillsborough Avenue will be alternatives to get around the closure.

The closure is necessary so construction crews can raise the level of the road to meet government standards for evacuation routes.

"The new road grade is going to be about 5 feet higher," said Steve Valdez, spokesman for Hillsborough County public works. The intersection will probably be closed "a couple more times," he said. "We have not determined what those are right now."

The work is the third phase in an overall $40 million project to widen Racetrack.

The current phase, slated to cost more than $11 million, includes widening more than 1.2 miles of Racetrack from Linebaugh to Countryway Boulevard from two to four lanes. The road work also includes installing bike lanes, sidewalks and landscaping, and is expected to be finished in spring 2010.

The final phase, to widen Racetrack from Douglas Road to Hillsborough Avenue to six lanes, starts this fall and is expected to take 18 months to complete.

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