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Belleair bridge progress on target

The $72.5-million new causeway span will have a 75-foot clearance for boats.

By JARED LEONE
Published July 20, 2007


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With only four months of construction under way, the new Belleair Causeway Bridge is right on schedule.

Arched piers already rise from the waters and will eventually bear the load of the $72.5-million fixed span bridge scheduled for completion in September 2009.

Once complete, the bridge will have a clearance of 75 feet, 1 foot taller than the Clearwater Pass and Memorial Causeway bridges.

"We are concentrating on elegance rather than ornamental," said project manager Tony Horrnik.

Today, about 17,500 vehicles pass over the old bridge each day. The old bridge continues to carry traffic, but eventually will be knocked down.

County officials say the bridge will carry 19,500 vehicles per day in 20 years.

The two-lane bridge will boast 8-foot-wide sidewalks, 12-foot-wide lanes and 10-foot-wide shoulders. A fishing pier will be built under the bridge as well.

Although not part of the bridge project, the boat ramp park will be reconstructed with 50-foot-long parking spaces for boat trailers. The old trailer spaces were 34 feet long.

The new park will have one more trailer space than the old facility.

Last year, more than 797,000 vehicles visited the park.

Dog beach still will be there, too. Users will be able to park under the bridge, off the sand and away from high tides.

[Last modified July 19, 2007, 23:00:33]


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