Trends Summer 2014 | Page 11

A shley Quaid commutes across Florida’s Courtney Campbell Causeway every day to and from work. As she crosses the Causeway, a busy bridge taking her and more than 53,000 other drivers across Old Tampa Bay between Clearwater and Tampa each day, she frequently notices the high amount of foot traffic on the nearby pedestrian bridge. Quaid, a project administrator for the Florida Department of Transportation’s District 7, has a vested interest in the activity. The new pedestrian bridge running parallel to the main highway was one of her projects. “I think it turned out really well,” Quaid said. “I see plenty of people using the trail bridge. From a biking-pedestrian standpoint, they’re very pleased.” Benefits abound A year ago, bicyclists, joggers, and other outdoor enthusiasts wanting to cross this corridor had little choice but to join their motorized counterparts across State Road 60 (also known as the Courtney Campbell Causeway) – where traffic barreled by at 60 mph or more. The new trail bridge now provides an alternative mode of transportation and safely separates pedestrians and bicyclists from the motoring public. “Over the last five years in District 7, a fatal pedestrian crash has occurred once every four-and-a-half days and nearly three pedestrian crashes have occurred each day,” said Kristen Carson, public information officer for FDOT’s District 7. “The District’s goal is to reduce pedestrian fatalities by 20% by 2018, saving approximately 15 lives per year. We can accomplish this through projects like the Courtney Campbell Trail and other improvements around the Tampa Bay area.” With the addition of the Courtney Campbell Multiuse Trail Bridge, users today are safely passing over the waterway without worry. The 18-foot-wide, 3,258-foot-long pedestrian bridge runs adjacent to the busy Causeway and provides a safe route from one community to the other, a vital link in the area’s recreational trail system, and stunning views of the scenic region. The trail bridge, designed by Ayres Associates, begins at the PinellasHillsborough County line and extends across the Bay to west of the Ben T. Davis Beach entrance in Hillsborough County. Since its September 2013 opening, the bridge has been well-received by the community and praised for its public safety improvements. Public pleased “I’ve gotten so much positive feedback that it really enhances the corridor and makes it safer,” said Lee Royal, government liaison administrator for FDOT, District 7. Royal noted that the feedback has come from a variety of sources, including users, co-workers, and elected officials – “and that’s important because, without the support of the community and the elected officials on both sides of the Bay to support the project, we wouldn’t have been able to gain the funding to implement it.” TRENDS │11