You know the idyllic beach scene. Waves ebb and flow. Craggy sand shapes the seashore. Gulls fly by.
Well maybe not the birds.
Soon, while sitting in traffic waiting to get to the beach, drivers along Gulf to Bay Boulevard and US 19 could see the beach scene plastered along the east and west bound sides of the overpass at the intersection.
Like the imprints of shells and wildlife on the overpasses along US 19 at Drew Street and soon at Enterprise Road, the tiles at Gulf to Bay Boulevard would be a wave and seashore pattern.
But no seagulls.
Special seagull stamped piers originally part of artist Steven Weitzman’s design were scrapped for cost.
“It actually would have killed the project if we included those,” said Chris Hubbard, cultural affairs specialist for the city.
But the city council is expected to spend about $45,000 for its share of the project at its meeting Thursday (Aug. 18).
The Florida Department of Transportation would pay $130,000 for the creation and installation of the concrete tiles.
“We are really getting a great deal here,” Hubbard said.
A string of LED rope lighting would provide a blue phosphorescence beneath the underpass which would also be painted blue.
Hubbard said the molds of the tiles would be saved and stored by FDOT, and could be used for future road projects within Clearwater only.
The scene at the major crossroads in Clearwater would give “an air of arrival to people into the city,” Hubbard said.