With the Fourth of July in our rearview mirror and the dog days of summer upon us, it’s the slow season for tourism in Gulfport – but that means it’s full steam ahead for construction projects.
Motorists and local business patrons have likely noticed various patches of construction along Gulfport Boulevard, between 49th and 58th streets, in the past few weeks. It’s related to work being done by Pinellas County to boost drainage along the heavily trafficked stretch of road. Gas lines are being dug up and moved; utility poles are also being relocated as part of the effort to help Gulfport deal with storm water during the rainy summer months.
“It’s a Pinellas County roadway and under their jurisdiction,” said Gulfport City Manager Jim O’Reilly. “So as part of the utility work that’s going to be done – which involves repaving and resurfacing – they are relocating, within the county right of way, the power poles. They’ve also relocated some gas lines and you might have seen that work going on. Basically, the county is relocating the utilities so they can improve the drainage.”
The city’s downtown waterfront district is also seeing some construction, with Shore Boulevard Phase 2 work commencing on July 5. The project will improve the waterfront in several ways, O’Reilly said.
“The idea is to widen the area and create some additional parking spaces,” he explained. “We’re also going to create a new scenic overlook in conjunction with new sidewalks, to match the west side of the Casino. Hopefully, it will all be done by October 1.”
O’Reilly also sought to reassure residents concerned about the disappearance of trees near the work site. “We did remove some trees,” he said, “but they will be replaced.”
The Shore Boulevard Phase 2 project plan can be viewed and downloaded at http://bit.ly/2u67fN4.