Ceremony to Celebrate New Belleair Causeway Bridge
The new Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge is open and it's time to celebrate. Connecting the Pinellas County mainland with the outlying barrier islands, the bridge offers improved access and amenities for residents and tourists, and upgrades the evacuation route for the beach communities.
A public ceremony is scheduled for Monday, April 26, 10:00 a.m. at the newly renovated Belleair Causeway Boat Ramp under the bridge. Officially completed on Dec. 22, 2009, the new $72.3 million bridge was finished on time and on budget. It has a 75-year service life featuring a modern design with fewer concrete columns for extended water views. Open to traffic since May 29, 2009, the bridge will remain open during the celebration.
The full scope of work encompassed 1.5 miles of a bridge roadway over the Intracoastal Waterway, a small relief bridge and approaching causeway roadway in Belleair Bluffs to the east and Belleair Shore and Belleair Beach to the west. In addition, new storm drains, retaining walls, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, curbs and gutters, and a widened roadway were constructed for improved safety. With a clearance of 74 feet in the main channel, the increased bridge elevation allows marine vessels to move freely in the Intracoastal without impacting traffic flow. It also creates an acre of land with parking to accommodate trailers up to 45 feet in length. More than two acres of seagrass beds were enhanced to improve water quality and marine habitat. Along the southern shore of the causeway, a new tidal wetland was constructed to meet state and federal environmental demands.
The three contracted firms on the project were E.C. Driver & Associates Inc., Misener Marine Construction Inc. and Johnson Bros. Inc. The project set a benchmark in U.S. bridge building and won recognition as one of the Top 10 Bridges of 2009 by applying the incremental launch method on the main channel bridge approaches. The Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge was constructed with a combination of federal and Penny for Pinellas funds.
Return to Current Edition