BAYSHORE — It has weathered hurricanes, pirate invasions and a steady stream of bicyclists, skaters and runners.
Now, Tampa's graceful signature stretch — Bayshore Boulevard Linear Park — is getting spiffed up.
Already, sections are gleaming from a pressure washing. Work started in September and is expected to be done by March, said Laurie Potier-Brown, parks department landscape architect and planner. In the meantime, pedestrians and joggers may have to dodge scaffolds on the sidewalk.
The city project cost just over $1 million and was awarded to C.A. Lindman.
Workers from the company will repair, preserve and protect the concrete sidewalks, seawall and balustrade. They identified five problems to be corrected along the stretch, including filling joints, patching concrete and remolding damaged spindles. After repairs, the concrete will be cleaned and sealed.
Civilization came to the peninsula's eastern waterfront of mudflats and mangroves in the late 1800s when a trolley route stretched to Ballast Point Pavilion, an open-air theater, bath house and restaurant.
By 1914, a two-lane brick street separated mansions from the shore. A hurricane in 1921 destroyed the street, seawall and rail line.
Repairs and the trademark balustrade were built in the 1930s, a redevelopment project funded by the Works Progress Administration, part of President Roosevelt's New Deal.
The last major work along Bayshore was in the early 1990s at a cost of $9.3 million. The project added the grassy strip between the waterfront sidewalk and the road, created the bicycle lane and repaired the sidewalk and balustrade.
Elisabeth Parker can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3431.