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Work on road clogs rush hour traffic

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 11, 2001

LAND O'LAKES -- Work crews paving a section of State Road 54 clogged traffic on Collier Parkway for nearly two hours Monday morning, disrupting the rush-hour commute for hundreds of Land O'Lakes residents.

Work crews closed a northbound lane of State Road 54 with little effect. But southbound traffic on Collier backed up for about a mile as crews shut down the left-hand turn lane onto SR 54 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Frustrated by the delays, some drivers made U-turns over construction debris and detoured through the Lake Padgett Estates neighborhood.

The state Department of Transportation tries to minimize such delays by scheduling such work during low traffic periods. Monday was an exception.

"The contractor closed more lanes than he should have," DOT spokeswoman Marion Pscion said. "We talked to him. It will not happen again."

Cone & Graham Inc. is the main contractor for the SR 54 widening project, scheduled for completion between U.S. 41 and Livingston Avenue within the next month.

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