Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

5Questions >

Tony Horrnik

Senior engineer for Belleair Beach Causeway talks about challenges

Tony Horrnik, senior engineer of the Belleair Beach Causeway project, has worked on more than 50 bridges.


Tony Horrnik, senior engineer of the Belleair Beach Causeway project, has worked on more than 50 bridges.

The Belleair Beach Causeway was closed to vehicles Saturday at 7 p.m. and will reopen at 7 this evening while workers prepare for the shifting of traffic to the north side of the relief bridge. It seemed like a good time to catch up with Tony Horrnik, Pinellas County's senior engineer for the project. Along with the Belleair Beach Causeway, Horrnik, 49, has worked on more than 50 bridges, including serving as principal designer of the Bunce's Pass Bridge on Tierra Verde. The father of two received his degree in engineering from the University of South Florida, graduating magna cum laude.

1How do you make the decision on when to close a bridge? We know there will always be traffic, so we have to consider what is less inconvenient. During the week, more people go to work, and we take that into consideration, along with information from emergency service organizations. We consider the heavy beachgoing times as well, although I can't promise you there won't be a time during a busy season that we won't need to close it.

2When did you know you wanted to build bridges? I'm from Cuba, and over there we have a big river, the Almendares. Instead of a bridge, we have a tunnel going under it. I was about 10 years old, and I remember going through that tunnel and how it struck me.

3When you're out at one of your sites, when the bridge is closed, what do you tell people who are frustrated that they can't get across? We're really, really concerned about citizens' safety. We ask people to sit back and think about why it's important to close a bridge, even if it is inconvenient. But, I have to say, people are being patient.

4Out of all the bridges you've worked on, do you have a favorite? The Belleair Causeway is my favorite because of the challenges. Every site is different, and conditions vary. This project is not easy, but when we're done, it's going to be very elegant. We are using a foundation that is not typical, with three different types of beam configurations.

5Since the new bridge will have no bridge tender, and it won't open the old-fashioned way, what is the highest a sailboat mast can be to go under? For navigational clearance, a mast can be 74 feet and 11 inches high.

Piper Castillo can be reached at or (727) 445-4163.

Senior engineer for Belleair Beach Causeway talks about challenges

07/26/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 3:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Snell to rejoin rotation Wednesday



  2. Illegal sign patrol on a mission to clean up Hillsborough streets

    Human Interest

    BRANDON --Jim Reed, rifling through the back of his Nissan Pathfinder, picks out a sign.

     Citizen volunteers, Reed and Bill Staley take down illegal roadside signs for county code enforcement.  CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
  3. Video: Crowd catches teen falling from Six Flags ride


    QUEENSBURY, N.Y. — A teenager fell about 25 feet (about 8 meters) from a stopped gondola ride at an upstate New York amusement park Saturday night, tumbling into a crowd of park guests and employees gathered below to catch her before she hit the ground.

    A teenager fell from a stopped gondola ride at Six Flags in upstate New York. [FACEBOOK VIA LOREN LENT]
  4. Trump accuses Clinton of colluding with Democrats to defeat 'Crazy Bernie Sanders'


    In the wake of a bombshell story about Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election - and persistent allegations that President Donald Trump's campaign may have colluded with Russia to win - Trump took to Twitter Sunday morning to accuse someone else of collusion: his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

    President Donald Trump speaks during the "American Leadership in Emerging Technology" event in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Washington. [AP Photo/Evan Vucci]
  5. Vending machines to give 100,000 free books to Florida kids


    FORT LAUDERDALE — Children in South Florida will soon be able to get free books from vending machines.