Would you tell me about all the pilings that they are placing on the south side of the Courtney Campbell Parkway? I have heard nothing and can't find anyone else that has.
According to state Department of Transportation spokesperson Kris Carson, the department has hired the American Bridge Co. to build a $14.6 million multiuse trail that will run parallel to the south of State Road 60 (the Courtney Campbell) from the Pinellas County line to the western entrance of Ben T. Davis Beach. The trail will feature a 12-foot-wide pedestrian and bicycle path, scenic overlooks and a clearance height of 45 feet over the channel.
Carson said plans for the yet-to-be-named trail have been in the works for some time, and it was not conceptualized as a replacement for the ill-fated Friendship Trail Bridge, which runs parallel to the Gandy Bridge and was closed in 2008 after engineers determined that deterioration of the structure made it too dangerous.
Of the new trail bridge, Carson said "It's a very beautiful scenic highway, and we believe that a lot of people will make use of it once it is completed."
The bridge will be built in sections; the design phase began in April and construction of the 4-mile project began this fall with completion of the first section on the Hillsborough County side expected sometime next summer.
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A public meeting will be held this week to discuss the planned replacement of the 60-year-old Isle of Palms and Capri Isle bridges. Treasure Island's public works director, Jim Murphy, and members of the design and build teams will discuss the construction schedule for the projects and the anticipated effect to the Isle of Palms and Capri Isle neighborhoods.
Construction is scheduled to begin in December and will take about a year to complete. The bridges will be built simultaneously — one half at a time — with construction of the south side first. A sidewalk will be open throughout the project for pedestrians and two-way traffic will share one lane. The first phase of construction is expected to be completed by April, at which time traffic will be switched to the new bridges and the remaining older bridges will be demolished to allow construction of the second half of the new bridges. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $3.46 million.
Today's Lady Speed Stick Women's Half Marathon will close Bayshore Drive SE from First Avenue SE to Fifth Avenue S and First Street. The closure along Fifth Avenue SE will be just east of the entrance to the Dalí Museum, which will function as the staging area for the start and finish of the race. The closure will be in effect until the breakdown of the race course is complete about 4 p.m. today. The course will affect other roads including Mirror Lake Drive, North Shore Drive and Coffee Pot Boulevard; expect road closures to be in effect along the course from 5 a.m. until noon. An interactive map of the course and full details of closures and parking information can be found at tinyurl.com/cqhttgc.
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