Pinellas News

Keystone Road widening nears completion

TARPON SPRINGS - The end is near.Pinellas County's Keystone Road Widening Project, in the works since July 2010, is set to meet its anticipated finish by wrapping up work this summer.Joe DeMoss, an engineering support services supervisor with the Pinellas County Department of Environment and Infrastructure, said the project is right on schedule but a more specific completion date has not been set.Inclement weather is the main potential source of possible delays, but likely not in a way that would jeopardize the summertime finish, DeMoss said in an email."Though weather is always a factor, we should have no problem reaching substantial completion this summer as planned," he wrote.Motorists traveling along Keystone Road are still maneuvering through or around plenty of orange construction barrels, but many near-complete yet unopened spans of roadway are becoming more visible by the week.The final stages of work crews have to complete include placing concrete separators, laying asphalt surfacing, striping the roads, posting appropriate signs and any associated inspections.Once the project is completed, Keystone Road and its three-mile stretch between U.S. 19 and East Lake Road will have been widened from two to four lanes. The three-year project also involved creating medians, adding turning lanes and constructing a new portion of the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail alongside the road.The median also provides space and underground infrastructure for a future expansion to six lanes.DeMoss said traffic control devices along the heavily traveled corridor will be removed as work is completed, though certain lanes "may shut down periodically during the final phase of the project to address punch-list items as needed."DeMoss also reported that the project has remained on budget, at $32 million. It is primarily funded with $25 million from the Penny for Pinellas program.Roughly $7 million is coming from the Pinellas County Department of Environment and Infrastructure and the city of Tarpon Springs and from Verizon and Clearwater Gas System for making infrastructure improvements as part of the 815-1071