It all started with a simple request from the Courtney Campbell Causeway Scenic Highway Group to District Seven. The group had an idea for a bicycle and pedestrian trail along the Courtney Campbell Causeway (State Road 60) that would span across Tampa Bay and connect Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. On Monday, June 22, that idea finally became a reality with the grand opening of the Courtney Campbell Causeway Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail. District Seven Secretary Paul Steinman was on hand to take part in the ribbon cutting ceremony and spoke about the importance of the trail to the Tampa Bay region. “The trail provides a safer and more recreationally based travel alternative while reducing the risk of pedestrian-bicycle-vehicle crashes,” Secretary Steinman said. He also noted the team effort made by local municipalities to the get trail project off and running. “This trail serves as a great symbol of what is possible with the collaboration of local, regional and state governmental agencies, and public/private-sector partners.”
The $26.3 million, 9.5 mile trail is 12-18 foot wide paved path provides pedestrian and bicycle access along the entire southern side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway. The center piece of the project is an 18-foot-wide, 45 foot tall, 3,258-foot-long pedestrian bridge open only to non-vehicular traffic with trail connections at either end of the bridge. The trail connects to recreational trails on both sides of Tampa Bay, with the east end of the trail connecting to the West Tampa Greenway and the Upper Tampa Bay Trail, and the west end of the trail connecting to Pinellas County’s extensive trail system all the way out to the Gulf beaches.