DUNEDIN, Fla.-- A new bridge is being manufactured for the Pinellas Trail in Dunedin that will give users a safer route than crossing Alternate U.S. Highway 19.
- New bridge this Fall on Pinellas trail in Dunedin
- Old bridge closed in 2017, unsafe
- U.S. 19 will close overnight for installation
The old bridge north of Curlew Road was closed last year for safety concerns but was not replaced.
"Behind the scenes, what's happening is, the bridge, the steel truss bridge is actually starting to fail. It's rusting, so now that it's losing some section loss, it's time to replace it," said David Deranzio, Pinellas County Section Manager, Roadway and Bridge.
When the county asked for bids for the new bridge in 2017, they were all out of budget. The process was stalled until agreements could be worked out.
Last year, the only way to safely get across the street was to walk down to Curlew Road or way north up to Tampa Road. Now, the county has put in a cross walk with flashing amber beacons. This will make it safer to get across the street until the new bridge goes in this fall.
"They're currently manufacturing the bridge, and then once that bridge arrives, the contractor will take this one down and then install the new manufactured bridge," said Deranzio.
The bridge installation will close U.S. 19 for only one night. Deranzio says the process is just that quick.
"What they'll do is they'll close these roads down, take a crane, pick off the bridge, place it, and then install the new one right on top."
The new bridge is going to make it safer for children and all who use the trail.