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  1. Transportation

Work on Ridge Road ran into unforeseen problems

Can you please tell me why the road work on Ridge Road between Valencia and 15th Avenue SW in Largo is taking so long? I live on a cul-de-sac that has been bombarded with traffic since the closure first occurred. There are no detour signs back in this neighborhood telling people how to get back onto Ulmerton Road, thus they end up on our dead end road, constantly! I realize all the rain we had delayed it for a time, but it has been weeks and no progress.

J. Alsfelder

The Ridge Road closure is the result of the failure of the roadway during what is known as a jack and bore, or auger boring work. Essentially, this is a complex engineering process that involves building a jacking platform that allows for the excavation of soil. Obviously, things can go seriously wrong during this type of operation, which is part of Largo's sanitary sewer expansion and upgrade project to enhance capacity and efficiency of the system.

The depression that developed in the roadway — and the resulting prolonged closure of Ridge Road — is one of those unforeseen challenges that can and do arise in the midst of a major utility or road construction project. Add the unprecedented deluge of rain we've experienced recently to the roadway failure, and it's a recipe for a wet, muddy mess, not to mention a protracted timeline.

The road was expected to re-open last week, but the paving contractor still needs to complete patchwork and resurfacing of the roadway, and inspections must be completed before the road is reopened. The latest update from Pinellas County is that work will be complete and Ridge Road between Ulmerton Road and West Bay Drive will once again be passable this weekend, but this remains tentative due to the weather, so stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed.

Barricade watch

• Lane closures and delays along Gulfport Boulevard should wrap up in time for the weekend. The sewer repair project that began in June is scheduled to be completed today.

• The pond excavation project at 51st Terrace N and 106th Street N is scheduled to be completed at the end of this month. Motorists should continue to be prepared for heavy equipment entering and exiting the area.

• Work to improve sidewalks and drainage in addition to milling and resurfacing along East Bay Drive between Missouri Avenue and Highland Avenue is scheduled to be ongoing until mid December.

• In Clearwater, Tulane Avenue north of Drew Street will remain partially closed to traffic through Dec. 31 due to construction on a stormwater system connection. Motorists should allow for extra travel time if using this route.

• A three-week milling and resurfacing project on 86th Avenue N between 125th Street N and Ridge Road requires operations between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. as well as lane closures to allow for the maintenance of traffic devices. Work began Aug. 4, but recent rain means that the project may take a tad longer than initially forecast. Use Park Boulevard or 102nd Avenue N as alternate routes.

Email Dr. Delay at docdelay@gmail.com or snail mail to P.O. Box 4954, Seminole FL 33775. Follow @AskDrDelay.

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