The New / Safer Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge opens for traffic • Pedestrians and bicyclists will have to wait until November 1 to use the bridge

BELLEAIR BEACH – The new Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge opened to traffic just after 5 a.m. on May 29, 2009. The project, which began in March 2007, is on schedule and on budget. It is estimated that between 15,000 and 18,000 vehicles a day cross the Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge and that is expected to increase to more than 22,000 vehicles a day by the year 2025.

The remaining work should be completed by November 1, 2009. That work includes demolition of the existing bridge structures, building of a new boat ramp with 102 parking spaces and accommodations for trailers up to 45-feet long, construction of retention and detention ponds, final grading, paving, signing and pavement marking. More than two acres of sea grass beds will be enhanced to improve water quality and marine habitat and a new tidal wetland will be constructed along the southern shore of the causeway.

In addition, there will be a designated area where dogs are allowed to play and swim. The design of the new bridge has two lanes of traffic, plus shoulder lanes, bike lanes, and wide, 8-foot sidewalks. For safety reasons, the sidewalks will remain closed to pedestrian traffic through project completion.

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