New Overpasses Connect Tampa Bay Trails, New Trail Planned

Tampa Bay area trails from Sarasota to St. Petersburg to Tampa are becoming more user friendly.

Plans are underway to build the Legacy Trail Pedestrian Overpass in Sarasota. The overpass will connect existing segments of Legacy Trail located on opposite sides of the U.S. 41 Bypass. The bridge will create a 12-foot path over the road and access sidewalks along the bypass. In addition, pedestrian bridges were recently completed that cross the Dona and Roberts bays along the Legacy Trail.

In St. Petersburg, the 34th Street Pinellas Trail Bridge is now open for bicyclists and pedestrians crossing 34th Street in South St. Pete. The project is a cooperative effort between Pinellas County and the city of St. Petersburg.

"It is an exceptional opportunity for the area and good for Gibbs High School, says Scott Daniels, president of Pinellas Trails, Inc. "The goal is to have the whole county looped by 2020. This is just one more piece that we're really proud of. The overpass itself has an artistic motif and they have done a remarkable job with plantings and landscaping. It's a beautiful addition to Pinellas County."

And Tampa may get a new trail that will run along the Leroy Selmon Crosstown Expressway. Dubbed the Greenway, the trail will basically run along the crosstown to Ybor Channel. According to Karen Kress, Tampa's director of transportation and planning, studies are underway to determine which routes will work best.

"The expressway authority is on board," she says. "And Renaissance Planning Group is doing a study to determine how big the trail can be, where bikers will park, how the trail will connect to Riverwalk and where it will go. Ultimately it will will be part of a regional trailway."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Sources: Karen Kress, City of Tampa; Scott Daniels, Pinellas Trails, Inc.

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