The contractor has closed the U.S. 19 crossover at Harn Boulevard and now those who want to go north on 19 have to cross three lanes of traffic to get to the turnaround at Belleair Road. This practically brings traffic to a stop as they try to move over. Now traffic is slower than before. Sometimes in the morning it's backed up almost to Drew. Something should be done before the snowbirds get here.
Also, timing at U.S. 19 north and south signals should have some seconds added. This would get more cars through the intersection. Many times while I pass the turnaround there are no or very few vehicles waiting to enter 19.
The Harn Boulevard intersection at U.S. 19 closed to all left-turning and crossover traffic in August. The closure was required because of the construction of new roadway on 19, said Kris Carson, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.
"An unfortunate side effect is that all the turning traffic load shifted down to Belleair Road. With this, at certain times of the day — typically at morning rush hour — traffic in the inside southbound lane queues up waiting to perform a U-turn at Belleair."
Carson said the DOT is working closely with the staff at Pinellas County Traffic Control in making adjustments to the signal phasing at Belleair and the contractor is to get traffic on to the new bridge over Belleair, which is the next project milestone set for mid-October. Carson said that once this milestone is reached, traffic on 19 will move through the project area signal free.
Utility work on 62nd Avenue N west of Westchester Boulevard should wrap up by Oct. 17. In the meantime, expect lane closures, delays, and heavy equipment and vehicles along the roadway. Suggested detour route is 54th Avenue N.
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