Construction forces detours near Clearwater schools

Road Rants

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – This week’s Road Rants question comes from Al, who wants more information on the closure of a segment of Sunset Point Road in Clearwater.

The road is blocked between Betty Lane and Kings Highway. That’s north of three Clearwater schools: Carl Hunsinger, Sandy Lane Elementary and South Kings Highway Magnet Elementary.

That stretch of Sunset Point is being widened to accommodate new left-turn lanes at the intersections with Betty Lane on the west end of the project, and Kings Highway on the east end. Additionally, bike lanes are being added and utility lines are being replaced.

Project Manager Tim Cook tells me this construction is the first phase of a three-phase project. The segment under construction now should be completed and opened to traffic in November.

In the second phase, the intersections at Betty Lane and Kings Highway will be updated with new traffic signals, school crosswalks, pedestrian signals and ADA-compliant sidewalks and curbs.

In the final phase, Sunset Point will be closed between Betty Lane and Douglas Avenue, receiving similar updates. Additionally, the bridge over Long Branch Creek will be replaced. That phase is anticipated to last through the fall of 2021.

Traffic trying to access schools in the area may use Palmetto Street, to the south, to travel east-west while Sunset Point is under construction.

Pinellas County’s 10-year plan includes future sidewalk projects along Hercules Avenue, from Sunset Point Road to Belcher Road, and between Sunset Point and Sherwood Street.

To see a map of all construction projects underway in Pinellas County, go to this page on the county website.

What’s your Road Rant? Contact me via email at mcensullo@wfla.com or through Facebook at WFLAMeredyth.

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