A St. Petersburg Police Cruiser sits outside the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg.
Expect heavier than usual traffic in the vicinity of I-275 and Gandy Blvd through Tuesday evening due to services for Officer Crawford at First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg:
Gandy Blvd will be closed from I-275 to MLK Street North from 8 am-6 pm. Traffic will be detoured onto I-275.
If you're using I-275 to get to the service, you are urged to avoid the Gandy exit, where the largest delays are likely. North-bound motorists are advised to exit at 38th or 54th Aves. N., travel east to MLK Jr. St. N., then north to the intersection of MLK/Gandy Blvd. The former Sears Essentials/Kmart parking lot is located on the SW corner.
Drivers coming from Tampa are encouraged to exit I-275 at Fourth St. N. or MLK Jr. St. N., traveling south until they intersect with Gandy. Tampa motorists may also use the Gandy Bridge to access parking locations.
When the service concludes, Officer Crawford will be escorted to Gross Funeral Home in St. Petersburg. The procession is expected to depart the church at approximately 2:30 p.m. and use the following route:
Leave First Baptist, heading east on 94th Ave. N.; turn south on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. St. N.; turn west on First Ave. N., then turn south on 64th St. S. where Officer Crawford and his family will reach the funeral home. The procession, minus the hearse, will turn south on 64th St., then east on First Ave. S. to the Tropicana Field parking lot for dispersal.
Each intersection between 9th St. N. and 64th St. N. will be closed to through traffic, including 16th St. N.; 34th St. N. (U.S. 19);49th St. N.; and 58th St. N.
Uniformed officers will be stationed at key intersections along the route to ensure smooth traffic flow and to allow the procession to pass. The procession is expected to take approximately an hour to pass each intersection and will cause significant north/south traffic delays for at least two hours.
Drivers are advised to use I-275 whenever possible to avoid further congestion.
Danielle Saar, Traffic reporter