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Open house for St. Pete’s San Martin Boulevard Bridge study

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An open house for anyone interested in contributing to the San Martin Boulevard Bridge’s Project Development & Environment (PD&E) study will be held Tuesday, July 14, in Diffley Hall, at the Holy Family Church, 200 78th Ave. NE, from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

The San Martin Bridge, which runs over Riviera Bay, near Weedon Island, was constructed in 1962 and is nearing the end of its service life. As it stand now, the bridge fails to meet current design standards and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.

The purpose of the (PD&E) study is to evaluate the environmental, engineering, and social impacts for the rehabilitation or replacement of San Martin Bridge.

The study will explore three primary bridge alternatives: a “no build” alternative, where no action regarding new bridge construction is taken — an option examined primarily for comparative reasons; an alternative that focuses on rehabilitating the existing San Martin Bridge; and an alternative that involves the replacement of the San Martin Bridge with a new fixed bridge.

The (PD&E) study will be in-line with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, commonly referred to as “NEPA,” which requires all projects receiving federal funding — which the San Martin project likely will — to “evaluate and consider alternatives which minimize adverse impacts to the natural and physical environment and to the community.”

Physical limits for the project extend from Tallahassee Drive to Weedon/Ridgeway Drive. While a separate project component will evaluate trail enhancements from Macoma Drive to Gandy Boulevard.

Further information about the study process and potential environmental, recreational and engineering impacts of the San Martin Bridge project will be discussed. A brief PowerPoint presentation will play continuously for viewing. And representatives from the project team will be available to take comments and answer questions.

The San Martin Bridge (PD&E) study is slated for a fall 2016 completion date. Construction on the the project is currently scheduled for either 2018 or 2019, depending on grant funding.

For more information, call (727) 453-3320, email dcb@pinellascounty.org, or see pinellascounty.org.

Devon Crumpacker is a Tampa Bay based writer and reporter for Extensive Enterprises Media. He primarily covers Pinellas County politics for SaintPetersblog.com, but also makes time to write the occasional bar review for FloridaBarTab.com. He lives in St. Petersburg with his fiance, Sydney. To contact, e-mail devon@floridapolitics.com, or visit his Twitter page @DevonCrumpacker.

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