TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Traffic cones and construction equipment aren't going away at least until the summer along the Courtney Campbell Causeway but the project is supposed to end up benefiting the environment.
The $12 million project is all about improving the environment and not the roadway, according to John McShaffrey, the community involvement manager for the Florida Department of Transportation.
“We're simply putting in a bridge where we used to have land to create a water channel to improve the tidal flow which would help the Old Tampa Bay get a little bit cleaner on the northeast side,” McShaffrey said.
The area is closer to the Tampa side of the causeway near Ben T. Davis park. Water has been flowing under the new bridge for the past couple of months.
McShaffrey says the tides coming in and out should allow for the area to return to normal after being cut off for decades. The change is expected to make way for the growth of seagrass, along with bringing back birds and other wildlife.
Drivers should pay close attention while driving and should expect lanes to be shifted again from March to April. McShaffrey says that’s when newer portions of the bridge will be opened up, starting with the pedestrian path.
The pedestrian trail is expected to stay open the entire time with only a few short closures overnight.
McShaffrey says the funding is coming from the gas tax. The project is expected to wrap up around June or May if all goes as planned.