Pinellas Bayway

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State Road 679 marker

State Road 679
Route information
Maintained by FDOT
Length: 4.816 mi[1] (7.751 km)
Major junctions
South end: Fort De Soto Park
North end: SR 682 in St. Petersburg
Highway system
SR 678 SR 681

State Road 682 marker

State Road 682
Route information
Maintained by FDOT
Length: 3.721 mi[1] (5.988 km)
Major junctions
West end: SR 699 in St. Pete Beach
East end: I‑275 / US 19 in St. Petersburg
Highway system
SR 681 SR 683

The Pinellas Bayway System is a series of bridges on two 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 drawbridges in addition to low-level causeways in their configuration. Attempts to replace the drawbridges with bridges of a different design in recent years have met resistance from both nearby residents, yachtsmen, and the local chapter of the NAACP. [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.

On October 14, 2000, the portion in Fort De Soto Park was transferred to Pinellas County.[1]

Tolls[edit]

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[edit]

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]

Major intersections[edit]

SR 679

The entire route is in Pinellas County.

Location Mile[1] km Destinations Notes
Fort De Soto Park 0.000 0.000 dead end at North Beach
3.4[2] 5.5 Anderson Boulevard - East Beach
5.144 8.278 south end of state maintenance
  5.144–
5.420
8.278–
8.723
Bridge over Bunces Pass
Tierra Verde 5.598 9.009 toll plaza (southbound only)
  8.476–
8.739
13.641–
14.064
Bridge over Boca Ciega Bay Main Channel (Gulf Intracoastal Waterway)
St. Petersburg 9.960 16.029 SR 682 (Pinellas Bayway) to I‑275 (Sunshine Skyway) – St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
SR 682

The entire route is in Pinellas County.

Location Mile[1] km Destinations Notes
St. Pete Beach 0.000 0.000 SR 699 north (Gulf Boulevard) – Pass-A-Grille, Treasure Island, Historic District
0.312 0.502 toll plaza (eastbound only)
  0.429–
0.906
0.690–
1.458
Bridge over Boca Ciega Bay (Gulf Intracoastal Waterway)
St. Petersburg 1.424 2.292 SR 679 south – Tierra Verde, Fort Desoto Park, Shell & Egmont Keys Ferry
2.821 4.540 toll plaza (westbound only)
3.568 5.742 I‑275 north (SR 93) – Tampa I-275 exit 17
3.721 5.988 US 19 (34th Street South / SR 55) to I‑275 south – Bradenton
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e FDOT straight line diagrams, accessed March 2014
  2. ^ Google Maps distance

External links[edit]

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