A large crowd celebrated Beach Walk on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at Pier 60 Park. Attendees were greeted by a large sand sculpture created to mark the occasion. Mayor Frank Hibbard welcomed everyone and introduced a representative from Congressman Bill Young's office, District Representative Shirley Miaoulis. Other speakers were City Manager Bill Horne, Sheila Cole, Executive Director of the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce and Beth Coleman, President and CEO of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The celebration marked three lanes of Coronado Drive being open to traffic, and the beginning of work on Phase II of the Beach Walk project. This will present new challenges to those driving on Clearwater Beach and drivers are reminded to be patient and obey the posted speed limit signs.
On March 5, the north end of South Gulfview Boulevard will close starting at the intersection with Coronado Drive. South Gulfview Boulevard will be closed going south to just past the Hyatt property. Traffic heading south from the roundabout will use two southbound lanes on Coronado Drive. There will be at least one northbound lane on Coronado Drive. When traffic reaches Fifth Street, Fifth Street will be open so that drivers can turn west to reach South Gulfview Boulevard. Local traffic will be able to go north on South Gulfview Boulevard to access the North Gulfview Parking Lot and businesses. All businesses will be accessible. Traffic can also go south on South Gulfview Boulevard from there. Those going to Sand Key and South Clearwater Beach should stay on Coronado Drive going south. Police and Traffic Engineering will watch the intersection of Fifth Street and Coronado Drive to monitor the traffic flow there.
The City Council approved a plan to create 67 temporary attendant parking spaces on the Patel property, 100 Coronado Drive. These spaces will be available beginning March 1. Pier 60 parking lot, with 221 spaces, will close for 4 to 5 months beginning March 5. The North Gulfview parking lot, with 243 spaces, will remain open during this time. On April 1, 36 more temporary metered parking spaces will be available, south of the attendant lots off Coronado, also on the Patel property. To access the new attendant parking spaces on the Patel property, take Coronado Drive and turn west on First Street. After parking in these lots, signs will be posted to guide pedestrians to the beach. Pedestrians will use the sidewalk along Coronado Drive heading north, then turning west on South Gulfview Boulevard.
The next Hard Hat Meeting is Tuesday, March 6, 9:15 a.m. at Shephard's Resort on South Gulfview Boulevard. v Visit www.myclearwater.com/beachwalk for more information and a new map showing the maintenance of traffic plan.
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