TAMPA — Large plywood boards that were padlocked together to keep people off the new pedestrian bridge next to the Courtney Campbell Causeway have been removed.
A few strips of yellow caution tape remain to alert people that the newest span over Tampa Bay is not yet open.
But it will be soon.
The 3,500-foot pedestrian trail will open in October or even earlier, depending on weather, said Kris Carson, Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman.
And those who walk, bike or run on the causeway are ready.
“Construction workers have turned away quite a few people that have tried to use it,” Carson said.
Workers have just a few punch-list items remaining, such as painting the structure's railings and paving a portion of the trail leading up to the bridge, she said.
The project is taking place in conjunction with the resurfacing of the causeway, which has resulted in some traffic delays.
Starting at a new trailhead along Ben T. Davis Beach, the pedestrian bridge will extend 5.4 miles along the south side of the causeway to the Hillsborough-Pinellas county line in Old Tampa Bay. A second phase on the Pinellas side is slated to be completed in late 2015.
The project cost more than $27 million, with most funding coming from the DOT.
Supporters will hold a grand opening ceremony for the trail in November.