TAMPA, Fla. - For outdoor enthusiasts, things are about to get a whole lot more enjoyable around the Courtney Campbell Causeway.
A new four-mile, 16-foot wide pedestrian bridge and trail is nearing completion along the south side of the causeway.
"The view itself is gorgeous. I don't think people really realize it because you're normally in a car traversing over the bay and you're going at a higher speed. But once you get on the trail bridge you can stop and take in the views. It's another exercise facility and it's great for our pedestrians and bicyclists. We're really excited about this project," explained Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson Kris Carson.
The $14 million project is being paid for by federal grant money.
For cyclists like Steven Mock, who now share the road with cars and trucks whizzing by at more than sixty miles per hour, the new bridge is right on time.
"It'll definitely be great to have that pedestrian way to go across because I really would prefer not to deal with this anymore," said Mock.
The span rises 45 feet above the bay and features four overlook areas near the top of the bridge. After connecting to a newly upgraded City of Tampa trail near at the Ben T. Davis beach, the new section ends where Hillsborough meets Pinellas County. Work on the Pinellas end of the trail, which will connect to a series of trails in that county, will begin in 2014.
Marty Peate works in the Rocky Point area and says he and others in his office have been running in the area during lunch for years. He says the new bridge is long overdue.
"The span's going to be great. They're not going to finish the Pinellas side until after October. But being able to get across the water, across the big span, is a big leap," he said.
The Courtney Campbell pedestrian bridge and trail is expected to open to the public in the next several weeks. Official grand opening ceremonies are coming in November.
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