Pushed back again! Work to add overpasses to Gandy Boulevard at 4th Street and 9th Street (Martin Luther King Jr.) in Northeast St. Pete is delayed again. The new completion date is Fall 2017. The project was expected to already be wrapped up by now.
What's the hold up? Crews ran into unforeseen trouble bolting up the steel structures for the overpass on 9th Street/MLK.
That has pushed back more than 4 months behind schedule, which is frustrating for the 43,000 drivers who get stuck in traffic on Gandy Boulevard every single night.
The construction project to add 6 lanes of elevated congestion relief has been going on for about 2 years.
“But it seems like forever!,” exclaimed driver Nancy Trank.
Construction should have already wrapped up on Gandy Boulevard this Spring, but crews are still hard at work pouring concrete and sifting through the dirt.
“Here we are still waiting,” Trank said with a sigh as she sat in her car.
She and fellow driver Wendy Payne have had enough. They're exasperated. “I live and work near gandy. I can’t leave my apartment after 5 p.m. Forget going anywhere. You’re stuck,” Payne added.
Traffic can be a nightmare. That's why the elevated roadways, which will leapfrog traffic above above Gandy, will eventually be a big help.
Marty Sanchez, the project's senior engineer added, “The end result will be fantastic.”
Sanchez says they're also worried about summer rainstorms, “Rain is the bane of highway contractors.”
The drier it is, the faster they’ll be able to finish.
There are two key dates coming up: On June 16, all westbound traffic will finally be moved up on the overpasses.
In Mid July, all eastbound traffic will be shifted onto the overpasses too, which should help the congestion a lot.