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St. Petersburg’s 40th Avenue N Bridge has not been touched in a while. Is it still on schedule?

A reader calls on Dr. Delay for an update on construction of the new bridge after not seeing any activity in the Past year.
The deteriorated 40th Avenue Northeast Bridge, St. Petersburg, will be rebuilt and raised by the city. Boaters will be able to navigate under the bridge at high tides after the work is completed. The view is looking south on Placido Bayou. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
The deteriorated 40th Avenue Northeast Bridge, St. Petersburg, will be rebuilt and raised by the city. Boaters will be able to navigate under the bridge at high tides after the work is completed. The view is looking south on Placido Bayou. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]

ST. PETERSBURG — Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Wrong.

There hasn’t been much activity on the Nathaniel J. Upham Bridge since last April, but it has not slipped the minds of some locals.

Stephanie Graham, a Tampa Bay Times reader, says it’s been two years since the nearly 60-year-old bridge has been down, awaiting repair and reconstruction. It crosses Placido Bayou along 40th Avenue Northeast.

The bridge — which carries more than 18,000 vehicles a day, including the residents of Shore Acres and Patrician Point — was partially closed for emergency repair in August 2017 after an inspection found intensive corrosion. It reopened 10 days later with a pedestrian path and a new traffic pattern, but still needed to be replaced with a bridge that was higher and could make evacuation routes more accessible.

This larger construction project was slated for 2020, but three months in, residents are growing impatient.

“What’s the holdup?” Graham asked. “When can residents and businesses who work in this area see progress?

The “holdup” is that the city is awaiting one final permit. And that is not expected until June 2020.

“There’s urgency in the city,” said Brejesh Prayman, director of engineering and capital improvements. “We are moving pretty aggressively to complete the design, and actually we’ve been ahead of design."

Once the city receives the final permit, the project will move to the bidding phase in this summer and into construction in the fall, according to Prayman. The city will update the public in a meeting once it receives all the permits and bids.

Currently, traffic is shifted to the south side of the bridge and reduced to single lanes. While the traffic is shifted, the sidewalk will be open for pedestrians on the north side of the bridge.

Now, we wait and hope that the last permit comes in on time.

Traffic and road closure updates:

Hernando County:

  • State Road 50 (Cortez Boulevard) widening from Windmere Road/Bronson Boulevard to U.S. 301 causes intermittent lane closures through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hillsborough County:

  • U.S. 41 repaving from Bullfrog Creek to Denver Street causes intermittent lane closures through Saturday from 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
  • Del Webb Boulevard West drainage installation at Sun City Center Boulevard (State Road 674) causes 24-hour lane closures through Friday
  • Expect nightly lane closures through Friday for Interstate 75 repaving from Manatee County Line to CR 672 (Big Bend Road) from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • U.S. 92 (Hillsborough Ave) repaving and drainage improvements from Nebraska Avenue to N. 15th Street causes 24-hour lane closures through Saturday
  • Expect nightly lane closures at Armenia Avenue and Brevard Avenue for SR 60 (Kennedy Boulevard) traffic signal upgrades through Friday from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • CR 672 (Big Bend Road) bridge replacement from Dickman Road to Wyandotte Road causes 24-hour lane closures through Saturday
  • SR 582 (Fowler Avenue) median improvements at 12th Street causes lane closures through Friday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Lanes will be closed on Dale Mabry and MLK Boulevards for Yankees spring training before and after games on the following dates:
    • Friday 6:35 pm
    • Sunday, 1:05 pm
    • March 10. 1:05 pm
    • March 13, 6:35 pm
    • March 14, 1:05 pm
    • March 15, 1:05 pm
    • March 18, 6:35 pm
    • March 20, 1:05 pm
    • March 22, 1:05 pm
  • Westbound State Road 60 (going toward Tampa International Airport) will be closed to all traffic under I-275 from 10:30 p.m. Thursday to 4 a.m. Friday. No westbound SR 60 traffic will be permitted past the traffic signal on the west side of Westshore Plaza during the closure. (If needed, this detour might also be used between 9 p.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Saturday.) Detours impacted by the closure include:
      • Westbound SR 60 to the airport, Clearwater, Veterans Expressway: From SR 60 (Kennedy Boulevard), go north on Lois Avenue. Turn left onto the entrance ramp to southbound I-275. Use Exit 39 and go west on SR 60 toward airport and destinations to the north and west.
      • Eastbound Kennedy Boulevard to westbound SR 60 (the left turn at Westshore Plaza): Instead of turning left at the traffic signal, turn right onto Kennedy Boulevard and go east. Turn left and go north on Lois Avenue. Turn left onto the entrance ramp to southbound I-275. Use Exit 39 and go west on SR 60 toward the airport and destinations to the north and west.
  • Lane closures are anticipated nightly between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for I-275 striping between Interstate 4 and Bearss Avenue
  • The northbound I-75 rest area in southern Hillsborough County (at mile marker 238) is closed for demolition and reconstruction and will be closed until the new facilities are constructed. Motorists should plan for this rest area to be unavailable for any use until spring 2021. The next open rest area on northbound I-75 is in Pasco County at mile marker 278, 40 miles to the north.

Pasco County:

  • U.S. 301 curve improvements at Mango Road cause lane closures through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • State Road 39 median improvements at SR 39A cause lane closures through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Expect nightly lane closures through Thursday for Interstate 75 median crossovers to the north and south of SR 52 (mile marker 287 and mile marker 283.5)
  • SR 54 repaving from Old Millpond Drive to Little Road causes lane closures through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • Intermittent lane closures cause lane closures for SR 54 widening from Curley Road to Morris Bridge Road through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

Pinellas County:

The Palm Harbor Downtown Craft Show will bring full closures this weekend on Saturday and Sunday and access will be provided only to emergency vehicles. Roads closed include:

  • Florida Avenue from Palm Harbor Boulevard to Omaha Circle and 11th Street from Florida Avenue to Georgia Avenue
  • S Bayview Boulevard in Oldsmar will be closed from Wednesday through Saturday, and on 22nd Avenue North from I-275 and 25th Street N Monday through Friday as CSX Railroad Crossings does repairs
  • HAWK Pedestrian Signals Installation causes intermittent nightly lane closures on State Road 694 (Park Boulevard) at 64/63rd St. 60th Way/St and 56/55th Way through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • SR 688, SR 586 and SR 580 intersection lighting improvements cause intermittent lane closures through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at various locations:
    • SR 688 (Ulmerton Road) between Hamlin Boulevard in Largo and Feather Sound Drive in St. Petersburg
    • SR 586 (Curlew Road) between Alt 19/Bayshore in Dunedin and Tampa Road in Oldsmar
  • Gateway Expressway (new tolled roadway system) updates:
    • Lane closures through Saturday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on I-275 from south of Gandy Boulevard (Exit 28) to Fourth Street N (Exit 32), I-275 northbound Exit 30 ramp to westbound State Road 686 (Roosevelt Boulevard) and westbound 118th Avenue (County Road 296)
    • Lane closures through Saturday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. on U.S. 19 frontage roads from 110th Avenue N to 126th Avenue N, on the SR 686 (Roosevelt Boulevard) entrance ramp to the Bayside Bridge, SR 686 (Roosevelt Boulevard) from SR 688 (Ulmerton Road) to 49th Street N, SR 686 (Roosevelt Boulevard) from 28th Street N to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N, and CR 611 / 49th Street from 145th Avenue to Bayside Bridge
    • Lane closures through Saturday on 118th Avenue North from U.S. 19 to 34th Street North from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
    • Lane closures/traffic stops/temporary stops through Saturday on SR 688 (Ulmerton Road) from 34th Street to 49th Street N from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Monique Welch is a staff writer at the Tampa Bay Times, and the voice behind Dr. Delay. Send your traffic concerns, questions and pictures of roadway troubles you spot in your travels around the Tampa Bay area to docdelay@tampabay.com. Follow @AskDrDelay.

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