CLEARWATER — Pinellas County will soon begin construction on the next phase of a safety and roadway improvement project on Sunset Point Road in Clearwater, and a new closure and detour will be put in place.

Sunset Point Road will be closed to all but local traffic between North Betty Lane and Douglas Avenue, with North Betty Lane remaining mostly open. Detour signs west of construction at Douglas Avenue and east of construction at North Betty Lane will direct traffic north to Union Street.

When there are temporary disruptions at individual driveways, the county’s contractor will coordinate with property owners before impacting driveway access. This phase of the project is expected to be completed by fall 2020.

Construction on the initial phase of the project from Sunset Point Road from North Betty Lane to Kings Highway has been completed, and that section has been reopened. The third and final phase of the project will be intersection improvements at Sunset Point Road and North Betty Lane, including turn lane enhancements and the installation of mast arms and new pedestrian signals, scheduled for completion in late 2020 or early 2021.

The project also includes new pavement on Sunset Point Road from Douglas Avenue to Kings Highway, bike lanes and ADA-compliant sidewalks and curb ramps.

Additionally, on Sunset Point Road west of Betty Lane, a new bridge will be constructed at Spring Branch as part of an overall Drainage Basin improvement plan coordinated with the city of Clearwater. Included in the construction are channel enhancements, new sidewalk (replacing a steel pedestrian bridge), roadway widening to enable an additional left turn lane at Betty Lane, and significantly reduced flood elevations in the Spring Branch Sub-Basin.

The project is partially funded by a grant from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.