Clearwater Memorial Causeway
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Clearwater Memorial Causeway
|Replaces||Memorial Causeway Bridge|
The Clearwater Memorial Causeway is a four-lane road between downtown Clearwater and Clearwater Beach, Florida, and includes a fixed-span bridge across the Intracoastal Waterway. It carries the State Road 60 designation and is known for its greenways and pedestrian walkways (and was designated as Great Florida Birding Trail several years ago) and elegant bridge appearance and structure. The road is also a major evacuation route during hurricane season. However, the Memorial Causeway Bridge is negatively known in the Tampa Bay Area for its shoddy construction process and contractor mishaps (similar to its Tampa counterpart on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway). As a result of the work, the bridge opened to traffic over a year behind schedule.
The original Memorial Causeway Bridge was a two-lane flat span that opened in the 1920s. It connected downtown Clearwater and Clearwater Beach for nearly thirty-plus years until it was replaced by a bascule bridge in the 1950s. A portion of the original bridge was demolished with the remaining section kept open as a fishing pier.
Even though the bascule bridge served the needs of Clearwater through its entire lifespan, it became clear in the mid-1990s that a replacement span would be needed. Increasing boat traffic would raise the bridge numerous times throughout any given day, which proved to be especially dangerous when a line of westbound traffic exceeded the bridge approach and extended across the Pierce St. intersection. Many alternatives and designs were considered during the planning process, including concepts that ranged from a higher drawbridge to a miniature Sunshine Skyway-type bridge. The final design was chosen in 1998 and construction commenced in 2001. The bridge opened to traffic in August 2005.
2004 news articles
- Bridge columns to come down St Petersburg Times - July 29, 2004
- Cost for fixing bridge can be cut in half St Petersburg Times - August 6, 2004
- Cost cuts blamed in project woes St Petersburg Times - August 29, 2004.
2005 news articles
- New span done, old one to be torn down St Petersburg Times - August 20, 2005.
- SCENIC RUN CELEBRATES NEW BRIDGE St Petersburg Times - August 28, 2005.
- Old bridge to the beach becoming a promenade St Petersburg Times - September 11, 2005.
- Dynamite to destroy part of old drawbridge St Petersburg Times - September 17, 2006.
- Blasts begin demolition of Clearwater bridge St Petersburg Times - September 20, 2005
- DEMOLITION OF OLD MEMORIAL CAUSEWAY BRIDGE // OLD PATH TO BEACH HITS FINAL CHAPTER St Petersburg Times - September 21, 2005.
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