Work begins on Forest Lakes Boulevard improvement project

Pinellas County is working on a major improvement project on Forest Lakes Boulevard in Oldsmar that extends from west of Pine Avenue to east of Race Track Road.

OLDSMAR — Motorists traveling Forest Lakes Boulevard are navigating through construction slated to continue until the spring of 2021. Construction on the major improvement project began Feb. 4.

Crews will be working along Forest Lakes Boulevard from west of Pine Avenue to east of Race Track Road. Motorists can expect lane shifts and detours at affected intersections. In addition, intermittent nighttime lane closures will be required.

Motorists are asked to use “extreme caution” in construction zones.

The project is part of Pinellas County’s capital improvement program and funded by Penny for Pinellas with partial funding from the Florida Department of Transportation.

During the project, some areas of the roadway will receive reconstruction, as well as milling and resurfacing. In addition, an additional 11-foot lane will be built in each direction to upgrade Forest Lakes Boulevard from a two-lane road to a four-lane suburban divided roadway.

According to a project fact sheet, some areas will receive “full roadway construction” due to the presence of “unsuitable soils” underneath the road. To correct the problem, the soil will be excavated and replaced to a depth of 3 feet or more. Replacing the soil along with installation of new underdrains and pipes will help improve drainage and reduce concerns about roadway settling.

Officials with the Public Works Department say improving draining will extend the service life of the pavement. New drainage inlets and ditches also will be installed along the roadway.

The project includes installation of 5-foot paved shoulders, which can be used as bike lanes. In areas of full reconstruction, medians and traffic separators will be added. Some locations will get new sidewalks and areas with damaged sidewalks will be repaired.

Upgraded traffic signals will be installed at the Pine Avenue and Brooker Creek Boulevard intersections.

For more information, visit www.pinellascounty.org/publicworks/pdf/forest-lakes-blvd-project-fact-sheet.pdf. Residents also can email the manager Erin Lawson at elawson@pinellascounty.org or construction administrator Angel Lafita at alafita@pinellascounty.org.

Suzette Porter is TBN’s Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at sporter@tbnweekly.com.