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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Demolish Friendship Trail Bridge, Pinellas official says



Repairing the closed Friendship Trail Bridge will cost $48 million -- well above the $15 million cost initially imagined. So it's time to demolish it, Pinellas County Commissioner Calvin Harris says in a letter to Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

"The pitting of the steel rods in the beam has caused deterioration to the point where the structure could experience a catastrophic collapse with little notice," Harris writes in a letter to county commissioners.

A recent engineering report found more risk than a previous report, and the new one recommends that the bridge stay closed until money is found to bring it down. It has been closed since 2008.

Both county commissions still have to sign off on the findings, but Pinellas scuttled plans to seek more money last year over concerns it wasn't worth the effort to upgrade the bridge. The commission's decision virtually killed the bridge's future.

David DeCamp, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:29pm]


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