Hillsborough MPO gives go-ahead on Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail

The Courtney Campbell Causeway trail is a proposed eight-mile path which would connect Pinellas and Hillsborough counties and will serve cyclists, runners and walkers. The trail will run along the south side of the parkway from Bayshore Boulevard in east Clearwater to Ben T. Davis Beach at the Tampa end of the causeway.

The total cost of that project is $20 million, with trail construction costing $15.4 million.

Wally Blaine with the MPO tells CL that typically in these kinds of projects there's a design phase and then the construction phase. But in this case, it's what's known as a "design build," which means one contract that a company will bid on to do both, which will begin sometime in the winter of 2012.

The funding comes from the US Department of Transportation, but the Hillsborough MPO had to compete with other agencies inside of Florida for it.

Officials say the trail will provide a regional connection for non-motorized travel between Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. On the Pinellas side, the project will connect to Pinellas County's trail system via a proposed Bayshore Trail extension.

On the Hillsborough side, the trail would connect to the West Tampa Greenway that will eventually connect to the Upper Tampa Bay Trail and from there to the Suncoast Parkway Trail into Pasco and Hernando Counties.

Good news for bicycle riders in the Tampa Bay area.

Tuesday morning the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Organization passed a feasibility study for a trail that would run alongside the Tampa Bypass Canal.

The Bypass Canal trail is just one leg of a proposed network of trails that Alan Snel with the Southwest Bicycle United Dealers (SWFBUD) has been advocating (and which CL will publish a story about later this week).

And they also gave the go-ahead for planning a multi-use trail alongside the Courtney Campbell Causeway that, with the unavailability to cyclists of the Friendship Trail, will be the next best (and possibly better) thing.

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