CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — A pedestrian overpass is in the works in Clearwater. The overpass would help runners, walkers and bicyclist navigate over busy traffic on the Courtney Campbell Causeway at Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard.
The Florida Department of Transportation designated $1.4 million for pre-construction work on the project.
Patricia Hoffman said it would be useful. At 66, Hoffman stays active running and biking on the trail along the Causeway.
She won’t go past Bayshore Boulevard because that’s where the trails stops. You have to cross the street at the crosswalk to get to the other side of the trail, which can be a nightmare.
“The only reason I don’t come from farther down is because I don’t want to deal with the cars,” Hoffman said.
She’s been hit before. “I’ve been in accidents where I’ve been knocked off my bicycle, so I don’t want that anymore. So an overpass would be ideal for me and many other people,” Hoffman said.
“We could ride; we’d be away from the cars. The cars wouldn’t get as annoyed with us. So I think that’s a big thing. I know it costs money and everything but it’s gonna save a life,” she added.
City officials agree. “That section, I mean if you travel down the Courtney Campbell Causeway, you know how busy that section is, so right now, what pedestrians and bicyclist have to do is push a button, try to cross that road after signal stops vehicles and it only allows them about 38 seconds to get across,” Clearwater Spokesman Jason Beisel said.
After a Tampa pedestrian crash that claimed the life of a 17-year-old high school student, people are concerned about their safety. “You got people that don’t belong on the road,” Bobby Benitez said.
Bicyclist Kathy Moll agreed. “If you have a light, like a pedestrian walk you can press, they still don’t always stop,” Moll said.
Engineers will now obtain site information, prepare plans, identify right-of-way impacts and look at utilities.
FDOT designated $5.7 million for construction to close a gap in the Duke Energy Trail between Chestnut Park and Enterprise Road, a key part of completing the Pinellas Trail Loop around the county. Several Florida counties split $44.4 million in grant money from the Florida Department of Transportation’s SUN Trail program.
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