The following sections provide additional information on the purpose of and need for the project in addition to a description of the proposed improvements.
Purpose and Need
The purpose of this project is to reduce traffic congestion and improve bicycle and pedestrian accommodations on Gandy Boulevard within the project limits.
This project is intended to address current and future roadway capacity deficiencies on Gandy Boulevard. For the purposes of evaluating future traffic capacity needs, the project was evaluated in three segments. Segment 1: from 4th Street to the west end of the Gandy Bridge operates at a deficient Level of Service (LOS) in both existing year 2020 and design year 2045 with the no-build traffic models. Segment 2: the Gandy Bridge operates at an acceptable LOS in the existing year 2020 but will operate near capacity in the design year 2045 with the no-build traffic models. Segment 3: from the east end of the Gandy Bridge to Westshore Boulevard operates near capacity in the existing year 2020 and will operate at a deficient LOS in the design year 2045 with the no-build traffic models.
In addition to addressing roadway capacity, this project will also address the need for pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. Currently, no on-street bicycle accommodations and a multi-use trail/shared use path segment are present on Gandy Boulevard within the study area. According to the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) Tampa – Hillsborough Greenways and Trails Plan and Forward Pinellas’ (Pinellas MPO) Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan, there is a need for bike lanes and a multi-use trail/shared use path within the study area. The Duke Energy Trail and Gandy Bridge Trail are unfunded gaps in the SUN Trail Network connecting the Pinellas Loop Trail to the west and the South Gandy Park Trail to the east.
On the western side of the Gandy Bridge, a sidewalk is present on the south side of the roadway from the vicinity of 99th Avenue North to the West Kayak Launch. On the north side of the roadway a sidewalk is present from Oak Street to Brighton Bay Boulevard. At Brighton Bay Boulevard, a share-use path begins and terminates in the vicinity of the West Kayak Launch. On the eastern side of the Gandy Bridge, sidewalks are present on both sides of the roadway from the vicinity of Gandy Park South to Westshore Boulevard. Currently, there are no pedestrian or bicycle accommodations located on the Gandy Bridge.
Gandy Boulevard is currently a four-lane divided facility throughout the study limits. This project will evaluate the need for vehicular capacity improvements (e.g. roadway widening) along Gandy Boulevard from 4th Street in Pinellas County to Westshore Boulevard in Hillsborough County, including the bridges #100300 (eastbound bridge) constructed in 1975 and #100585 (westbound bridge) constructed in 1996.
The study will evaluate capacity improvements (adding travel lanes) and the addition of bicycle and pedestrian improvements, e.g. multi-use trail, along the study corridor. Bridge widening and/or replacement is anticipated for this project and a grade separated overpass at Brighton Bay Boulevard will also be evaluated.