Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Friendship Trail Update

Bob Gordon, the public works chief for Hillsborough County, came to the bicycle-pedestrian advisory committee today to chat about the closed Friendship Trail/old Gandy Bridge.

Bob explained the Friendship Trail was closed because it's structurally falling apart and offered the options:

-- $82 million to build a new 2.6-mile bridge.
-- $30 million to fix the current bridge and give it 10 more years
-- $13 million to demolish the bridge

I attended on behalf of SWFBUD to ask Bob Gordon how the county's consultant came up with a $30 million figure to fix the bridge and to ask that the BPAC contact the state DOT to explore retrofitting the current Gandy Bridge to safely accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians.

Here's my point: If you're going to close the Friendship Trail, give non-vehicular traffic a safe access across the Bay.

The BPAC coordinator, Gena Torres, will send a letter to the DOT asking the state agency to explore making Gandy Bridge safe for cyclists and pedestrians.

I plan to pursue the matter with a Friendship Trail oversight committee and other agencies.

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