Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Work begins on $23 million Courtney Campbell Parkway project

A trail for bicyclists and pedestrians will be added to the Courtney Campbell Parkway as part of the roadway’s upgrades.

Florida Department of Transportation

A trail for bicyclists and pedestrians will be added to the Courtney Campbell Parkway as part of the roadway’s upgrades.

CLEARWATER — Work has begun on one of Tampa Bay's most scenic causeways, a $23 million construction project that will repave and add trails to the Courtney Campbell Parkway.

This week, survey crews began preparing 5 miles of the causeway for resurfacing, part of a makeover to be finished in time for August's Republican National Convention.

But the biggest change — an 8-mile trail stretching along the causeway's southern shore — still remains in planning. The trail's Hillsborough half could go under construction later this year, with the Pinellas half beginning in late 2013.

Funded by the state Department of Transportation, the nighttime construction work will go a long way toward smoothing out the bay's northernmost bridge linking Clearwater to Tampa.

Other parts of the job, like replacing guardrails and installing hurricane-resistant poles and traffic lights, will be finished by next summer.

For runners and cyclists, though, the most exciting addition remains the 12-foot-wide trail that will connect from Bayshore Boulevard at the Pinellas County line to Ben T. Davis Beach on the bridge's eastern end. It will run across two new bridges built along the causeway, tapping into a network of mainland trails spanning both sides of the bay.

The trail will cost $14.7 million, while the roadwork will cost $8.4 million.

Designated one of Florida's few scenic highways in 2005, the Courtney Campbell has long been a canvas for plans of outdoor paths. In 2006, the state paid $400,000 to study the idea of a quieter trail along the road, home to 50,000 vehicles a day.

But it wasn't until the 2008 closure of the Friendship Trail, the cross-bay link atop the old Gandy Bridge, that concepts for the causeway trail were "really pushed forward," said Bill Jonson, a Clearwater City Council member and chairman of the Courtney Campbell Scenic Highway Advisory Committee.

It will still take about five years for crews to finish the waterfront trail, the detailed blueprints of which have yet to be designed. But local supporters predict the trail will serve both as a tourist attraction and a "great community asset," said Bob Clifford, president of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Opened as a quarter-a-car toll bridge in the 1930s by former Texas cattleman Ben T. Davis, what was then the Davis Causeway was taken over by the federal government during World War II and transferred to the state.

The span was renamed in 1948 for Courtney W. Campbell, a former U.S. congressman and Florida road commissioner who helped propel the rundown road's repairs and beautification.

The name of the trail, however, is not yet a done deal, Jonson said. Some have suggested naming it after Campbell. Others have a different idea: calling it the Dolphin Trail.

Drew Harwell can be reached at (727) 445-4170 or Send letters to the editor at

Work begins on $23 million Courtney Campbell Parkway project 04/26/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 26, 2012 7:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. A Time magazine with Trump on the cover hangs in his golf clubs. It's fake


    The framed copy of Time magazine was hung up in at least four of President Trump's golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. Filling the entire cover was a photo of Donald Trump.

    A framed copy of Time magazine, dated March 1, 2009, that hangs in at least four of President Donald Trump's golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland, is fake. There was no March 1, 2009, issue of Time. The real March 2, 2009, issue of Time featured actor Kate Winslet on the cover. But the issue makes no mention of Trump. [Left, Time; right, Angel Valentin for the Washington Post]
  2. Editorial: The human cost of slashing Medicaid


    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had no choice Tuesday but to postpone voting this week on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act that is just as devastating as the version passed by the House. The Congressional Budget Office's estimate that Senate bill would eliminate health care coverage for 22 million …

    Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  3. Vince Young takes shot at Bucs' Ryan Fitzpatrick


    Former NFL quarterback Vince Young, out of the league since 2011 and complaining about not getting more opportunities to prolong his career, took a shot at new Bucs backup Ryan Fitzpatrick in a story posted at …

    Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who signed with the Bucs to be Jameis Winston's backup this fall, has played for six other NFL teams in his 12 seasons in the league.
  4. Editorial: Scott's poor choice for CFO


    Gov. Rick Scott didn't reach too deeply into Florida's talent pool in appointing his friend Jimmy Patronis to fill a vacancy as the state's new chief financial officer. This is an exceptionally weak choice for a Cabinet post that requires a sophisticated understanding of banking and other financial services, and it …