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St. Petersburg welcome tower to be removed, likely in 2023

St. Pete Welcome Tower
Posted at 3:08 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 16:16:11-04

It’s hard to miss the 75-foot St. Petersburg welcome tower on the shoulder of 275 southbound just past the Howard Frankland Bridge, but in a few years, it won’t exist.

Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson Kris Carson says the monument’s location will eventually be troublesome as construction continues on the more than 800 million dollar project to build a new southbound bridge between Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

The monument now sits on what will one day be the shoulder of the new alignment. Carson says contractors are aiming to take it down in the spring or summer of 2023. The bridge project is expected to be complete by spring 2026.

The City of St. Pete unveiled the tower in August 2012 in time for the Republican National Convention. The project was made possible by a $600,000 donation from local businessman Bill Edwards. It took five months to complete.

Ben Kirby, City of St. Petersburg spokesperson, said Mayor Rick Kriseman is considering signage at other entry points around the city.