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Has coronavirus slowed down traffic in Tampa Bay? It sure seems like it.

Talk of less traffic due to the virus prompted Dr. Delay to see if it’s a myth or reality.
Traffic is seen along U.S. 19 in Pinellas Park Wednesday, March 11, 2020 in Tampa.
Traffic is seen along U.S. 19 in Pinellas Park Wednesday, March 11, 2020 in Tampa. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published Mar. 16, 2020
Updated Mar. 16, 2020

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We’re used to Beyonce making the world stop with her surprise album drops and pregnancy reveals.

But the coronavirus pandemic has given the pop superstar a run for her money.

The virus officially called COVID-19, prompted Pres. Donald Trump to declare a national emergency. It has reduced international travel and brought a myriad of school closings, event postponements and sports cancellations, including March Madness games originally scheduled to take place in Tampa.

Related: Coronavirus: The day everything in Florida changed

The virus is spreading rapidly, and the number of cases is on the rise.

Related: See a map of Florida coronavirus cases

So how has the pandemic affected traffic in Tampa Bay?

Some have told the Doc they believe that traffic has been a tad lighter on their commutes to and from work.

Zachary Carroll, who works in legal counsel, said that his employer is making him work from home, so he hasn’t been on the highways since last Sunday.

Could this be the case for other hard-working individuals? Or is it because more people are self-isolating or under quarantine?

We conducted a poll about it on Facebook and Twitter, and it resulted in a tie.

Out of 130 voters, 42.3 percent said that it appeared to be less traffic and 42.3 percent said that traffic remained the same.

Only 15.2 percent said traffic conditions got worse.

“No, it sucks just as bad as it always has,” wrote Steve Brown on Twitter.

Another Twitter user who goes by Vance said simply: “The Howard Franklin is still a mess.”

“With the closures of many businesses and the overall shift to teleworking, FDOT is currently evaluating to see if there are decreases in traffic on highways,” Kris Carson, the spokeswoman for the the Florida Department of Transporation, wrote in an email to the Tampa Bay Times.

“To that end, if decreases are realized, construction teams may revise lane closures and night-time operations to maximize the opportunity to complete projects earlier than anticipated.”

Traffic and road closures updates:

Hernando County:

  • Lane closures with flagging operations from Suncoast Parkway to U.S. 41 for County Road 579 (Ayers Road extension) new roadway and widening through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Intermittent lane closures for State Road 50 (Cortez Boulevard) widening from Windmere Road/Bronson Boulevard to U.S. 301 through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hillsborough County:

  • Lane closures with flagging operations along County Road 580 (Sam Allen Road) from east of Paul Buchman Highway (State Road 39A) to Wilder Road through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Lane closures through Friday from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Interstate 275 from west of State Road 60 (Exit 39) to Lois Avenue (Exit 40B)
  • Lane closures on SR 60 under I-275 through Friday from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
  • Lane closures on West Shore Boulevard (CR 587) at I-275 through Friday from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
  • Nightly lane closures for U.S. 92 (Hillsborough Avenue) repaving and drainage improvements from Central Avenue to 56th Street from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • U.S. 41 bridge painting over CSX railroad tracks between College Avenue and 12th Avenue through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • U.S. 92 stormwater system repairs from Falkenburg Road to County Line Road cause nightly lane closures between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Intermittent lane closures through Saturday for U.S. 41 repaving from Bullfrog Creek to Denver Street from 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
  • Nightly lane closures for I-75 repaving from Manatee County Line to CR 672 (Big Bend Road) through Friday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Nightly lane closures for SR 60 (Kennedy Boulevard) traffic signal upgrades at Armenia Avenue and Brevard Avenue through Friday from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • 24-hour lane closures continue through Saturday for CR 672 (Big Bend Road) bridge replacement from Dickman Road to Wyandotte Road
  • 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 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:

  • Alternating eastbound inside lane and westbound inside lane paving for new turn lane on State Road 54 at Suncoast Parkway
  • Lane closures with flagging operations for County Road 579 (Ayers Road extension) new roadway and widening from Suncoast Parkway to U.S. 41 through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Lanes may be closed nightly between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. through Thursday on State Road 54 from U.S. 41 to Osprey Lane eastbound curbside lane

Pinellas County:

  • Lane closures continue for State Road 693 (South Pasadena Avenue) bridge repairs over Boca Ciega Bay through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Outside lane closures may take place through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on State Road 595 / Seminole Boulevard. Light fiber communication installation from Ulmerton to 122nd Avenue
  • SR 586 / Curlew Road - Fiber communication installation from McMullen Booth to Tampa Road may cause single outside lane closures through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.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.
    • Intermittent Lane Closures, expect delays through Friday on Belleair Road from South Fort Harrison to Belcher Road for paving prep, ADA, sidewalk, and drainage improvements
  • Dunedin special event: Expect delays and congestion Tuesday 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Wednesday on Main Street from Broadway to Louden Avenue, Virginia Lane from Douglas Avenue to Main Street, on Douglas Avenue from Scotland Street to Monroe Street from 9 a.m. to 7 a.m. and on Highland Avenue from Virginia Avenue to Grant Street from 2 p.m. to 7 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 Follow @AskDrDelay.