Revamped Gandy Boulevard Welcomes Pedestrians

More than $3 million is being invested in making the Pinellas County side of Gandy Boulevard a friendlier, safer place for pedestrians.

According to Kristen Carson of the Florida Department of Transportation, the project will provide a continuous pedestrian path between a residential area populated with apartments and the parking area for the Friendship Trail, a former biking and walking trail along the Gandy Bridge that once stretched across Tampa Bay to connect St. Petersburg with Tampa. The area served as a gateway between downtown St. Petersburg and south Tampa.

"A five-foot sidewalk or boardwalk will be built between Oak St. and Brighton Bay Blvd.," says Carson. "A 12-foot multiuse trail will be built between Brighton Bay Blvd. and the Friendship Trail parking area along the north side of Gandy Boulevard. Along the south end, a continuous pedestrian path will be provided between Oak St. and a point east of San Fernando Blvd. A timber boardwalk will be built in front of Derby Lane and in front of San Martin Village. Boardwalks are being constructed in these locations instead of traditional sidewalks due to the minimal amount of FDOT right-of way and so the roadway drainage in the ditches are not adversely impacted."

Carson says that five-foot shoulders also will be built on both sides of the road where they currently do not exist.

Tampa Pavement Constructors, Inc. is handling the construction on the project.

The Friendship Bridge, which is connected to Gandy Boulevard, has been closed since 2008 and is scheduled for demolition. Hillsborough and Pinellas county commissioners are considering how best to demolish the bridge, built in 1956, citing structural hazards that may endanger pedestrians and bikers.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Kristen Carson, Florida Department of Transportation

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