TRAFFIC INBOX: Gandy Boulevard construction creates merge dangers

By Chuck Henson, Real Time Traffic Expert
Last Updated: Monday, July 17, 2017, 11:23 AM EDT

With road construction comes changes in traffic lanes.

Real Time Traffic Expert Chuck Henson checked out one of those busy construction zones in St. Petersburg.

Jamie Adams, who drives the Gandy Boulevard / Frontage Road construction zone every day for work, said it has become dangerous.

"The road cones change. The barriers change," Adams said. "It merges on the left side one week or one month for a period of time, then it merges onto the right side another period of time."

In a span of about 50 feet, Gandy Boulevard and one lane from Fourth Street North come together into a single lane.

Henson and a photographer watched a number of near-crashes where construction barrels are located.

"I would just like to see better signage," Adams said. "Maybe some public outreach before some major changes take place, during the construction even. Not just saying, 'This is what it will look like after construction, but during the construction process.'"

Kris Carson of the Florida Department of Transportation said the current lane situation is not permanent.

"We know there are some tight spaces out there and there might be some merge issues," Carson said. "So we'll have a talk with the contractor and our construction team, see if we can move that merge sign a little bit back so we can alert motorists better."

The suggestion was also made to FDOT to install two temporary stop signs at the end of the Fourth Street ramp. If those cars come to a full stop, they can better enter the merge when there is a safe break in the traffic.