A local bridge, in desperate need of repairs, is getting a complete overhaul starting next year.
FDOT is now set to replace part of the Pinellas Bayway, a bridge connecting Isla Del Sol and Tierra Verde islands.
The project includes replacing the existing two-lane draw bridge with a two-lane, high-level, fixed bridge, repaving the existing roadway, and replacing a seawall south of the bridge.
Local businesses are glad the bridge is getting replaced, because the bridge goes up several times an hour, stopping crossing traffic.
"It's definitely a hassle," said Collin Faulmann, who works with Tierra Verde Boat Rentals.
Businesses say bad traffic backups can drive business elsewhere.
"Once they see this mile long traffic jam, they'll just go straight to the beach," Faulmann said. "They're not going to go to Desoto and come to rent from us."
The project will also include the construction of a 12-foot-wide shared-use path on the east side and a 5-foot-wide concrete sidewalk on the west side of S.R. 679 for the entire project limits.
Also, instead of a traffic signal, a roundabout will be built at Madonna Boulevard/1st Street.
Inspectors found structural issues with this part of the Pinellas Bayway, including cracks.
Construction on the Pinellas Bayway is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2018 and last approximately three years.
FDOT project managers are anxious to get your feedback on the bridge repairs.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) invites you to attend an Open House for the S.R. 679 Pinellas Bayway Bridge Replacement Design-Build Project from North of Yacht Club Lane to S.R. 682 in Pinellas County, Florida.
The open house will be held:
DATE: April 27,2017
TIME: 4 pm to 7 pm
St. Petersburg College, Allstate Center, Florida Room
3200 34th Street S., St. Petersburg, FL 33711