County Road 611 represents one of the three main routes connecting St. Petersburg with Clearwater in Pinellas County. Through St. Petersburg, CR 611 follows 49th Street, a four-lane boulevard through residential neighborhoods north from Gulfport to unincorporated Lealman. 49th Street North widens to a six-lane, divided arterial north of 38th Avenue North (CR 138). Through the city of Pinellas Park, CR 611 becomes more commercial and meets U.S. 19 at a six-ramp parclo interchange near Freedom Lake. An array of industrial parks spread northward along 49th Street North from U.S. 19 to High Point and the vicinity of St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE).
The tolled Gateway Expressway will tie into CR 611 from Roosevelt Boulevard (SR 686) by PIE Aiport. CR 611 transitions onto the Bayside Bridge from there and continues across western reaches of Old Tampa Bay as a high-speed expressway to SR 60 (Gulf to Bay Boulevard). Beyond the single point interchange with Gulf to Bay Boulevard, CR 611 resumes as a six-lane at-grade arterial along McMullen Booth Road north through east Clearwater to Dellwood and Safety Harbor.
North across Lake Tarpon Canal, CR 611 meets Tampa Road (CR 572) at a grade separated interchange then shifts onto East Lake Road. Lake Road continues as a four-lane, divided arterial by John Chestnut Senoir Park on Lake Tarpon and a number of golf course communities to CR 582 (Keystone Road). East Lake Road intersects Trinity Boulevard (CR 996) before crossing into Pasco County, where CR 611 becomes CR 77 (Seven Springs Boulevard) north to New Port Richey.
County Road 611 Highway Guides
Historically, the alignment of County Road 611 was designated as Florida 593 between Florida 60 (Gulf to Bay Boulevard) and Florida 580. By 1959, 49th Street through Pinellas Park and High Point was State Secondary 691. Florida 691 connected U.S. 19 with Florida 686 by St. Petersburg-Clearwater National Airport (PIE). The State Secondary designation was extended south along 49th Street to 22nd Avenue South / Gulfport Boulevard in St. Petersburg by 1973. Florida 593 was decommissioned north of Old Tampa Bay by 1980 and Florida 691 to the south was subsequently renamed County Road 691. The 1989 Florida official highway map shows East Lake Boulevard as County Road 77 south from CR 582 (Keystone Road).
Approved by Pinellas County Commissioners on February 10, 1987, the Bayside Bridge is a 2.7-mile long set of twin spans linking Pinellas Park with Clearwater over Old Tampa Bay. Costing $110 million overall, with $71 million for just the bridge, design work on the crossing commenced on January 1, 1988. Construction followed on January 30, 1991 and the Bayside Bridge opened to traffic on June 2, 1993. Funding for the span was derived from Pinellas County gasoline and sale taxes instead of state or federal transportation sources. Subsequent work expanded 49th Street North from the bridge's south end. Widening of McMullen Booth to the north however dragged on for another two years.1
The Bayside Bridge was previously incorporated in mid-1970s plans for Pinellas Parkway. The tolled expressway was envisioned north from U.S. 19 at Cross Bayou Canal to Florida 586 (Curlew Road). It was rejected by voters.1 The Bayside Bridge was later proposed as the tolled 49th Street Bridge in 1979. Tolling concepts were dropped by county officials, citing potential traffic disruptions and air pollution concerns with idling vehicles at toll collection points.2
- "New day dawns on Bayside Bridge." Tampa Bay Times (FL), June 2, 1993.
- "Bayside Bridge finally opens - The new span will provide long-awaited relief for thousands of commuters." Tampa Tribune, The (FL), June 2, 1993.
Page Updated 04-20-2019.