LARGO — The first part of a two-phase project to transform Rosery Road into a multimodal corridor is finally on the verge of getting underway.
City commissioners provided the final boost Aug. 20 when they approved an amendment to the agreement with the city’s contractor, David Nelson Construction Co., establishing the guaranteed maximum price of just over $7 million.
Phase 1 of the long-awaited project, which will make a number of repairs and improvements to the corridor’s 0.8-mile stretch from the Pinellas Trail to Missouri Avenue, was expected to begin in October. Phase 2 will be done at a later date and will provide similar improvements between Missouri Avenue and Eagle Lake Park.
Barry Westmark, a senior engineer with the city, said the Palm Harbor-based Nelson Construction saw an opening in its schedule to start early, so it proposed commencing construction Sept. 3.
Much like the recently completed Trotter Road community streets project, which was also reconstructed by Nelson Construction, the entire 0.8-mile stretch of Rosery Road will be shut down for about 17 months.
Westmark said most people have been pleased with the design and haven’t taken issue with the early start date.
“The response I got from most folks is that we’re kind of happy you’re starting a month early if it means you’re going to finish a month early,” he said.
He added that the road will still be open on a limited basis to businesses and residents who live there.
Because the section of road from Second Street Northwest to Missouri Avenue affects the shopping plaza and Teakwood Village and Shangri La mobile home parks, Westmark said the city intends to complete that area in three to four months.
A public meeting about the project will be held 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at St. Paul United Methodist Church at 1199 Highland Ave.
Westmark said information provided will include the project schedule, detours and ways to find updates and information.
The scope of the first phase includes:
• Reconstruction of the existing roadway;
• An 8- to 10-foot multimodal path on the south side of the entire stretch of road;
• A 5-foot sidewalk on the north side of the road, with ADA improvements on both sides, including a sidewalk crossing at the CSX railroad tracks;
• A median island and midblock crossing with flashing signals next to the Aldi just west of Missouri Avenue;
• Bicycle accommodations;
• Stormwater and sanitary sewer improvements;
• Landscaping throughout featuring a mixture of crape myrtles and sabal palms.
The project also will feature on-street parking that complements The Rosery, a 224-unit apartment complex being constructed on an 8.8-acre site at the southwest corner of Clearwater-Largo and Rosery roads.
Funding for the $7.6 million project will come from several sources, including the county gas tax ($947,974), Penny for Pinellas sales tax ($1.98 million), stormwater fund ($3 million), and wastewater fund ($992,000).