Every day, thousands of motorists drive McMullen Booth Road, one of the major north-south roadways in Pinellas County.
Starting Friday, they will be facing detours near State Road 590 in Clearwater as county workers improve a railroad line there.
The upgrade is part of the county’s ongoing systematic railroad crossing improvement and replacement program.
“We are obligated by CSX Transportation to make sure that the grade crossings are not only safe for vehicular traffic, but that they are also safe for train traffic,” said Railroad Program Coordinator Nancy McKibben. “We institute this systematic upgrade program to make sure that we maintain that level of service.”
The improvements include the replacement of damaged and undersized rails, rail beds and reconstruction of the roadway.
Normal traffic patterns are expected to be interrupted on McMullen Booth Road starting at 5 a.m. Friday and continuing through Tuesday, April 9. The closure is between Drew Street and State Road 590 in both directions to all vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
“Unfortunately (the closure) does inconvenience the traveling public for a short period of time,” said McKibben. “We will make every effort to make sure we minimize that road closure and if we are at all able to expedite it, we will.”
Travelers will be able to access destinations up to the railroad crossing in either direction, but will not be able to cross the tracks. Signage will direct motorists to detour routes.
“People traveling north on McMullen Booth Road coming from Bayside Bridge will need to divert westbound on Drew Street to U.S. 19,” said McKibben.
Southbound travelers will be detoured west on State Road 580 or 590 to U.S. 19.
People traveling from south of Drew Street towards Ruth Eckerd Hall will be able to access the venue without any detours. Those coming from the north will have to take one of the detour routes to reach the destination. A number of performances may be affected by the situation.
The railway improvement program is being funded through Penny For Pinellas, the county’s local infrastructure sales tax.
For more information or project updates, contact the Pinellas County Roadway Construction Information Line at 727-453-3320.