US Route 19A is a 37.114-mile alternate routing of US Route 19 in the Tampa Bay area. US Route 19A begins at US Route 92 in downtown St. Petersburg and terminates at mainline US Route 19 in Holiday. US Route 19A occupies a corridor which was largely once part of mainline US Route 19. US Route 19A was created during 1950 when it was approved by the American Association of State Highway Officials. US Route 19A is odd in that it intersects the mainline US Route 19 in St. Petersburg but continues past it to terminate at US Route 92. The hanging end of US Route 19A not intersecting the parent highway is a vestige of the original routing of US Route 19 which terminated in downtown St. Petersburg when extended during 1930.
Part 1; the history of US Route 19A
During May 1930 the Florida State Road Department submitted a request to the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) to extend US Route 19 from Tallahassee to Bradenton via St. Petersburg. The proposed extension of US Route 19 is noted to be planned to follow pre-1945 Florida State Road 15 from Brooksville to St. Petersburg. US Route 19 was proposed to cross Tampa Bay to via the Piney Point Ferry and follow US Route 41/Florida State Road 5 into Bradenton.
On May 16, 1930, the AASHO Executive Secretary notified the Florida State Road Department that due to the Piney Point Ferry being privately owned it could not act as a component of US Route 19. The omission of the Piney Point Ferry from the proposed extension of US Route 19 would ultimately see it terminate in downtown St. Petersburg.
US Route 19 would ultimately follow 5th Avenue into downtown St. Peterburg concurrent with Florida State Road 15 and terminate at 4th Street. US Route 19 can be seen terminating in downtown St. Petersburg at 5th Avenue and 4th Street on the 1943 United States Geological Survey Map of St. Petersburg. During the 1945 Florida State Road renumbering the corridor of US Route 19 south of Perry to St. Petersburg would be assigned to Florida State Road 55.
The origin of US Route 19A came in 1950 when the Florida State Road Department submitted a request to AASHO for it to be created. The justification for US Route 19A being created was the completion of the Florida State Road 55 expressway spur between New Port Richey and Florida State Road 60 having been opened in 1948. The Florida State Road Department wanted to retain the entirety of the existing alignment of US Route 19 between New Port Richey and St. Petersburg as US Route 19A. The application for US Route 19A included retaining the original terminus of US Route 19 at Florida State Road 687 in downtown St. Petersburg at the corner of 4th Street and 5th Avenue. US Route 19A was intended to follow the newly designated Florida State Road 595 whereas mainline US Route 19 would remain part of Florida State Road 55.
The point of contention for US Route 19A for AASHTO was the retention of original alignment of US Route 19 on Grand Boulevard in New Port Richey, Elfers and Holiday. AASHO initially deferred the application for US Route 19A and offered to reconsider if the routing began in Holiday instead. The revised US Route 19A was subsequently approved and was tied into US Route 92 in downtown St. Petersburg when the latter was extended over the Gandy Bridge by AASHTO during July 1952. The hanging end of US Route 19A in St. Petersburg terminating at US Route 92 has never been resolved despite mainline US Route 19 highway being extended south to Memphis in 1954.
US Route 19A can be seen terminating at US Route 92 at the corner of 5th Avenue and 4th Street on the 1956 United State Geological Survey map of St. Petersburg.
The alignment of US Route 19A can be seen contrasted to US Route 19 in the Tampa Bay Area on the 1956 Gousha Map of Florida.
Part 2; US Route 19A in St. Petersburg
From westbound 5th Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg, northbound US Route 19A begins at the intersection with US Route 92/4th Street. US Route 19A is initially co-signed with Florida State Road 595 in downtown St. Petersburg.
Northbound US Route 19A intersects Interstate 375 along 5th Avenue. The one-way couplets of US Route 19A consolidate onto 5th Avenue near 16th Street. Southbound US Route 19A follows 4th Avenue into downtown St. Petersburg.
Northbound US Route 19A intersects Interstate 275 along 5th Avenue west of downtown St. Petersburg.
From southbound Interstate 275 Exit 23B, US Route 19A is co-signed with Florida State Road 595.
US Route 19A northbound intersects mainline US Route 19 at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 34th Street.
US Route 19A northbound turns from 5th Avenue onto Tyrone Boulevard. US Route 19A follows Tyrone Boulevard to the St. Petersburg city limit. US Route 19A passes through Bay Pines and Long Bayou along Bay Pines Boulevard towards Seminole. US Route 19A within Seminole utilizes Seminole Boulevard northward towards Largo. Within Largo, US Route 19A transitions to Missouri Avenue and continues to Florida State Road 60 in Clearwater. Northbound US Route 19A follows westbound Florida State Road 60 along Court Street to Myrtle Avenue in downtown Clearwater. Southbound US Route 19A in downtown Clearwater is carried by Chestnut Street along eastbound Florida State Road 60.
Part 3; US Route 19A from Clearwater to Holliday
From eastbound Florida State Road 60 in downtown Clearwater traffic can access northbound US Route 19A by turning left from Chestnut Street onto Mrytle Street.
US Route 19A northbound passes through Dunedin along Edgewater Drive, Main Street, Broadway and Bayshore Boulevard.
On the outskirts of Palm Harbor, US Route 19A intersects Florida State Road 586. US Route 19A passes through Palm Harbor along Palm Harbor Boulevard towards Tarpon Springs.
US Route 19A northbound passes through downtown Tarpon Springs along Pinellas Avenue. North of Tarpon Springs, US Route 19A terminates at mainline US Route 19 in Holiday.