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Walkway on Treasure Island bridge reopens

Outdoor enthusiasts had something to be thankful for over the long holiday weekend. They were able to walk instead of drive across the new Treasure Island Causeway.

The railings were installed Wednesday, just in time for residents and their Thanksgiving visitors to enjoy the view.

While the first half of the new bridge opened to vehicles in June, the 10-foot-wide, 1,024-foot- long pedestrian walkway along the north side of the structure remained closed.

City officials fielded phone calls for months from residents upset that they couldn't walk or cycle across the most direct route from the beach to the Pinellas Trail.

Contractors were waiting for additional guardrails from a company in Palatka.

Mayor Mary Maloof, who walks every morning with a friend, used the pedestrian path for the first time over the weekend.

"It was just wonderful," she said. "It was foggy and it was quiet and it was just very interesting to be able to walk up there to the top of the bridge and look back over the fog that had nestled over the houses," she said. "It was very easy to imagine what the whole completed bridge is going to look like."

Contractors are meeting the schedule and costs for the project, city officials said. The southern half of the $50-million bridge is still expected to be completed next fall.

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