City officials and a small crowd of residents celebrated the end of construction on Pass-A-Grille Way Tuesday, April 24, with a short but upbeat ceremonial ribbon cutting at 10:30 a.m. at Pass-A-Grille Way and Cabrillo Ave. The construction has lasted over two years, rerouting traffic and causing residents inconveniences, including temporary loss of cable and internet services.
“We’re very, very excited. It’s been a long time and the residents put up with a lot,” said St. Pete Beach City Clerk Rebecca Haynes at the ribbon cutting Tuesday morning.
Haynes says the response to the new Pass-A-Grille Way has been nothing but positive so far. At the ribbon-cutting, one resident of Vina Del Mar Island (a residential area accessed via Pass-a-Grille Way) said the end of the road construction left him feeling “exhilarated.”
“Everybody has to be patient, and put their part into it,” said Vina Del Mar resident Brenda Deliberty. “There were frustrations, but again, they did an excellent job. It was commendable.”
“On 20th Way they had to dig a hole probably 300 times; they had seven different contractors for all the different utilities,” said Peter Rouse of Paradise News.
“There was electrical and sewer and water and reclaimed water and cable for the tv and internet,” said Rouse, listing all the utilities that had to be reconfigured in the construction process.
In addition to the reconstruction, the wires for electrical power are now located underground.
This change will make a difference during bad weather and during hurricane season, when poles can be affected by high winds and rain.
“It was worth putting up with for two and a half years,” said Rouse, who lived four blocks south of the Don Cesar Hotel, but now lives on the north end of St. Pete Beach.
According to Mike Clarke, the city’s public works director, the original estimated cost for the project was 10.9 million dollars. The final estimate, with cost savings and order changes has not yet been determined, said Clarke. The reconstruction began with a contract approval in June of 2015 and a majority of the project was finished in February of 2017.
“It’s a fantastic project,” said Clarke.