TRAFFIC INBOX: Pinellas Trail bridge spans closed

The abrupt closing of a Pinellas Path bridge is the topic of this week’s Visitors Inbox.

Each day, lots of of individuals use the Pinellas Path, with Dunedin seeing a number of the heaviest use.

When the county lately closed the 2 spans of bridge over Alternate U.S. 19 and Orange Road, it raised a couple of eyebrows.

“I did not know was happening,” stated resident Greg Brosius. “We stroll it on a regular basis.”

David Deranzio with Pinellas County stated it is about erring on the aspect of security.

“As soon as it begins attending to the place it is previous its life cycle, 25 years, it is onerous to maintain up on it,” Deranzio stated. “And that is once we ship them out to bid and redo the bridge.”

The half in query is the bridge itself. The blue-metallic sections are corroded, and in a current inspection by the Florida Division of Transportation deemed unfit to be used.

The county shut them down final week with no discover.

“Only for security sake,” Deranzio stated. “We will all the time err on the aspect of security. And that is the right instance of erring on the aspect of security.”

The difficulty now’s what to do with all these individuals who use this bridge to cross the street.

Crossing at Orange Road could be very harmful.

“We do not need individuals crossing Alternate 19,” Deranzio stated. “We would like them to go right down to Curlew or as much as Tampa Street the place there is a crosswalk. It isn’t protected crossing Alternate 19.”

To unravel that drawback, the county is constructing a brand new sidewalk alongside Orange Road from the path closure to hook up with the prevailing sidewalk on Alternate U.S. 19.

It is going to be three to 5 months as soon as demolition begins earlier than the brand new span is full. It can value $1.5 million dollars.

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