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Florida State Road 679

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Title: Florida State Road 679  
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Florida State Road 679

State Road 679
;">Route information
Maintained by FDOT
Length:
;">Major junctions
South end: Fort DeSoto Park
North end: Tierra Verde
Length:
Length:
Length:
Length:
;">
;">Highway system

State Road 682
;">Route information
Maintained by FDOT
Length:
;">Major junctions
West end: St. Pete Beach
  Tierra Verde
East end: St. Petersburg
Length:
Length:
Length:
Length:
;">
;">Highway system

The Pinellas Bayway System is a series of bridges on two Florida State Roads in Pinellas County, Florida. It is a toll road complex maintained and operated by the Florida Department of Transportation. It also is compatible with the SunPass ETC system currently in use on all other FDOT-owned toll roads. The Pinellas Bayway consists of:

  • State Road 679, a hook-shaped north–south road with a four-lane divided northern half (between SR 682 and Tierra Verde) and a two-lane southern half serving Fort DeSoto Park at the tip of the "hook" (35 cents toll). Motorists traveling the entire length of SR 679 traverse two bridges.

The two State Roads intersect on Isla del Sol midway between St. Petersburg and St. Pete Beach. Both highways have [1] Studies are being conducted by FDOT as to how the bridges will be replaced and how much they would cost. [2]

Both Fort DeSoto Park and the Pinellas Bayway opened on December 21, 1962. The east–west portion was then signed SR A19A, a designation it kept until the mid-1980s, when FDOT did a statewide reallocation of state route numbers. Despite the redesignation, some local businesses and residents still refer to A19A when mentioning the Bayway.

Tolls

The Pinellas Bayway system employs cash and electronic toll collection. While casual users of the Bayway system may use their SunPass or other Florida-compatible electronic toll collection transponders, two discount programs for Bayway Isle and commuters are also authorized, in conjunction with SunPass usage.

Bayway Isle residents may purchase a Bayway Isle annual pass for $15 annually, allowing them unlimited passage through the northeast toll plaza, only. This discount was authorized at the time of the original construction of the facility. The pass is sold in June of each year and expires on July 1 the following year.

Commuters and other frequent users have the option of purchasing an unlimited pass for $50 annually. This commuter pass, which is good at all three plazas on the Bayway system, is renewable each September, and was authorized by legislation in 1985.

The prices include the rental of transponder for the term of the annual pass.

Toll Controversy

On November 28, 2007 the Florida Department of Transportation held a public hearing and revealed that they planned to more than double the cash and Sunpass tolls on the Pinellas Bayway, and to eliminate the $15 Bayway resident pass. The funds from these increased tolls would be used to issue bonds for the eventual improvement of the bridges of the Bayway System.

There has been much controversy over these toll increases. Local public officials (including Mayor Rick Baker of St. Petersburg) have come out loudly against what some perceive as an unfair allocation of costs to Pinellas Bayway residents. In February, 2008 an ad hoc coalition of affected Homeowner Associations, the "Citizens's Bayway Task Force' organized to fight the toll increase. The legislation to increase the tolls on the Pinellas Bayway was withdrawn on March 19, 2008.[3]

References


External links

  • Discussion of the Pinellas Bayway at the Drawbridges of Pinellas County page
  • Discussion of the Tierra Verde Bridge at the Drawbridges of Pinellas County page

Coordinates: 27°42′46″N 82°41′49″W / 27.7128072°N 82.6970441°W / 27.7128072; -82.6970441

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