A 45-foot-high pedestrian bridge — the centerpiece of a new pedestrian trail paralleling the Courtney Campbell Causeway — opened for business Monday.
The 3,200-foot-long bridge will give walkers, joggers, bicyclists and skaters a scenic view over Old Tampa Bay from Ben T. Davis Beach in Tampa to Pinellas County.
Good weather has helped keep construction on time and budget, said Kris Carson, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Transportation.
The 16-foot-wide bridge, which will not accommodate motor vehicles, costs about $14.6 million, with most of the money coming from a federal grant.
Paving work continues on the trail’s Tampa side that should be finished next month, Carson said. That four-mile stretch should be avoided until completion, she said.
A formal ribbon-cutting is slated for Nov. 16, after the east end of the trail is complete.
A second phase on the Pinellas end of the trail is expected to begin next year.
When complete, the trail will allow bicyclists to avoid the heavy traffic along the causeway (State Road 60) and provide connections to other trails in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
It’s the first pedestrian bridge to connect the counties since the Friendship TrailBridge, adjacent to Gandy Bridge, was closed due to safety concerns in 2008.
Parking is available at both ends of the span.