Traffic watch for 050812


n 18th Avenue Drive West from 17th to 18th avenues west: Road closure is scheduled 7 a.m.-5 p.m. May 14 and will last for approximately two months for general construction and restoration activities. The 17th avenue park and tennis courts shall have access and to street side parking along 18th avenue west. No work shall be conducted or equipment operated within the limits of the MOT Plan area, including roadway and sidewalk, outside this posted time frame.

n 16th Street West between First and Third avenues: a lane will close 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. daily May 8-June 8 for the replacement of a water main. The Westminster entrance on Third Avenue West will be closed intermittently during this period.

n Traffic signals: Manatee County officials are asking drivers to use extra caution on major thoroughfares in coming months as traffic signals at large intersections are adjusted and retimed as the first major implementation of the Advanced Traffic Management System. More than 230 traffic signals in Manatee County will be better coordinated with each other, but will not mean a continuous chain of green lights around town during rush hours.

n State Road 789 (Gulf Drive) at Longboat Key Pass Bridge: An improvement project -- including bridge repair, painting and sidewalk construction -- is under way, with temporary nighttime lane closures 10 p.m.-6 a.m. (excluding 10 p.m. Fridays-6 a.m. Sundays). The sidewalk on the east of the bridge is closed, pedestrians are to use the sidewalk of the west side of the bridge. Motorists are advised to obey speed limit and exercise extreme caution. For safety reasons, the area directly under the bridge on Greer Island will be closed to pedestrians while construction activities are taking place. Weather permitting, this closure is expected to be in place until the project is complete. This project is anticipated for completion sometime this spring.

n Sunshine Skyway Fishing Piers: Demolition of 75 spans from the east sides of the north and south fishing piers together with the pile caps and associated piles. Project is expected to be complete sometime this spring.

n U.S. 301/Hernando De Soto Bridge Improvement Project: The Florida Department of Transportation IS making improvements to the U.S. 301/Hernando De Soto Bridge. Improvements being made as part of this project include minor structural repairs, replacing a portion of the bridge, and installing bridge pile jackets. The main channel for boat access remains open but boaters should use caution. Most construction will occur at night and work requiring lane closures will occur between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Lane shifts should also be expected throughout the duration of the project, which is expected to be complete in late summer.

n State Road 64 from Carlton Arms Boulevard to Interstate 75: The Florida Department of Transportation has begun making roadway improvements consisting of milling, resurfacing and widening the roadway from four lanes to six. The speed limit is reduced from 50 mph to 45 mph. Expected completion, weather permitting, is in the fall of 2013.n County Road 675/Rutland Road from U.S. 301 to State Road 64: Traffic control sign installations as well as erosion control installations.

n State Road 64 from County Road 675 to Zipperer Road: Intermittent lane closures while crews work in the shoulder.

n Various roads in vicinity of Bayshore, B.D. Gullett, Kinnan, Oneco, Palm View, Palma Sola, Prine, Rowlett and Samoset elementary schools: Possible lane closures, except during school arrival and dismissal times, for sidewalk installation. No work will be done between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. in residential areas.

n State Road 64/Manatee Avenue from 12th Street East to 15th Street West: The westbound far right lane of Manatee Avenue West approaching Ninth Street has become right-turn-only onto Ninth. A new permanent traffic pattern also is in effect at Eighth Street West to the north of Manatee Avenue. Motorists southbound on Eighth Street West are not permitted to exit onto Manatee and will have to use Fourth Avenue West. Access from Manatee Avenue onto Eighth Street West will remain open along with business entrances and driveways on Eighth Street West between Manatee and Fourth avenues.

-- Herald staff reports