Clearwater, Florida -- Gov. Rick Scott was in Clearwater Friday with a big announcement for Pinellas County motorists and area business owners.
Gov. Scott announced at a press conference with Sen. Jack Latvala that $4.8 million is being invested into the current construction of U.S. 19 to speed up the project by 6 months.
Construction on the U.S. 19 corridor between Whitney Road and Gulf to Bay Blvd. began in 2009 and was set to be completed in late 2015, but is now slated for spring of 2015 completion.
Senator Latvala has been working with FDOT and the contractor to accelerate the project.
"Thanks to Senator Latvala and families in the region, I'm proud to announce that FDOT has formed an agreement with the contractor to accelerate work, to get everyone off of these service roads sooner," said Gov. Scott. "While the project was slated to be completed by the summer of 2015, with the new agreement we'll get traffic off the service roads by this October."
The project consists of removing the traffic signals on U.S. 19 between Whitney Road and S.R. 60 and constructing two new interchanges at Seville Boulevard and Belleair Road and rebuilding the S.R. 60 interchange.
The contractor will shift traffic to a free flow configuration on U.S. 19 by Oct. 15, 2014. This means all traffic signals on the mainline U.S. 19 within the project limits will be removed.Essentially, this step will create a no-signals corridor on U.S. 19 between Republic Dr./Hammock Park Blvd. in Clearwater and Mainlands Blvd. in Pinellas Park.
The ultimate goal for U.S. 19 in Pinellas County is to establish a controlled access highway that will accommodate both regional and local traffic.
The estimated build-finance cost of construction of the project is $112 million.
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