The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has identified the need to study the possibilities of providing roadway improvements along a 2.3-mile section of S.R. 699 (Blind Pass Road/Gulf Boulevard) between 75th Avenue and 105th Avenue. Greiner, Inc. has been selected by FDOT to provide services in the areas of project planning, conceptual engineering, and environmental studies (PD&E Study) in order to identify necessary improvements. This study included alternatives analysis to replace the existing Blind Pass Bridge with an improved facility.
The original limits of this study were extended due to locating appropriate connecting points to other facilities and due to a supplemental work to the original study which necessitated alternative concepts that extended beyond the original project limits. For the purposes of this study, the project had been divided into three segment areas. Segment A begins at the south end of the project at 74th A venue, extends north to 93rd Avenue, and includes the north-south segments of S.R. 699, Gulf Boulevard and Boca Ciega Drive. Segment A also includes the east-west roadways of 74th and 75th Avenues from Gulf Boulevard to the St. Petersburg Beach Causeway. Segment B runs from 93rd Avenue and 2nd Street/Harrell Avenue and includes the Blind Pass Bridge. Segment C includes the area north of 2nd Street to 106th Avenue.
Study Purpose and Need
S.R. 699 is the primary north-south roadway serving the south and central beaches of Pinellas County. This major route extends from S.R. 60 at Clearwater Beach south through St. Petersburg Beach to S.R. 682 (Pinellas Bayway). The 2010 Long Range Plan for Pinellas County identifies S.R. 699 as a four-lane divided facility throughout the limits of the project.
Immediate need for improvements is focused on the Blind Pass Bridge crossing. According to a March 4, 1987 report, Structure Inventory and Appraisal (SIA), prepared by FDOT, the existing structure is described as being in “poor condition – repair or rehabilitation required immediately.” This structure, constructed in 1927 and rehabilitated in 1969, is estimated to have only 7 years of remaining life. The SIA report is included in the Preliminary Structural Engineering Report prepared by Greiner, Inc.
Proposed improvements to S.R. 699 will include widening this facility to five lanes (two through lanes northbound and southbound and a center left-turn lane) from 75th Avenue to 105th A venue and a new four-lane bridge for the Blind Pass crossing. Alternatives to these improvements may include providing one-way pair, north/south and east/west facilities in Segment A. The existing Blind Pass Road is a two-lane facility from 75th Avenue north/south and east/west to the signalized intersection at Gulf Boulevard/1st Street including a two-lane bridge crossing over Blind Pass. Between the West Gulf Boulevard intersection and 105th Avenue, the segment known as Gulf Boulevard is a four-lane undivided facility. The Blind Pass Road (St.
Petersburg Beach) portion of this project currently contains sidewalks on both sides of the street, while the Gulf Boulevard (Treasure Island) side does not provide a defined area for sidewalks. Although no curb and gutter sections are present along the corridor, a closed drainage system exists.
The new facility will provide pedestrians with 6-foot sidewalks on both sides of the roadway. The bridge section will provide pedestrians with a 5-foot walkway on both sides of the structure. Bicycle traffic will be accommodated with an extra wide 14-foot outside curb lane on the at-grade roadway segments and a 10-foot outside shoulder across Blind Pass Bridge on both sides of the roadway.