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Monday, 13 July 2009 11:38

Courtney Campbell Causeway Rededication Ceremony Bridges Hillsborough and Pinellas 2009

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Elected Officials from Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties with the Courtney Campbell Causeway Marker“Today is a historic day, today is a scenic day,” noted Pinellas County Commissioner, Karen Seel, speaking at the June 25th Courtney Campbell Causeway 75th anniversary rededication of a historical marker. The Causeway “is just beautiful and it leads me to paradise. “

The marker honoring the Courtney Campbell Causeway had been moved due to construction and the rededication also celebrated its return in a short ceremony in which Clearwater Mayor, Frank Hibbard, spoke, along with others. Many dignitaries from Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties were in attendance, truly a symbol of how the Courtney Campbell “bridges” the two counties.

The Courtney Campbell Causeway extends across Old Tampa Bay, and connects State Road 60 between Clearwater and Tampa. The Causeway is known for its scenic, pleasant and laid-back drive.

The Courtney Campbell Causeway was commissioned in the 1920s by Ben T. Davis to provide a quicker route between Tampa and Clearwater. Before then, travelers from Clearwater had to go through Oldsmar. This connection no doubt helped develop the economy and influence of Clearwater. The bridge opened on June 28, 1934 as the Davis Causeway, a toll road, which costed $0.25 in those days.

In 1944, the bridge was purchased by the government to help the war effort, transferring the ownership of the bridge to the State of Florida. In 1948, the bridge was renamed the Courtney Campbell Causeway in honor of the U.S. Representative and Clearwater resident. Rep. Campbell served on the Florida Road Board and helped ensure repairs and beautification of the bridge.
In 1987, the barrier wall was added, turning one of the most dangerous roads into one of the safest and most scenic. A chain link fence had been planned, but the plans were changed to the current barrier wall.
In 1991, a landscaping project improved the aesthetics of the bridge and, in 2005, the bridge was dedicated as a scenic highway.

In 2010, construction on a multi-use trail will begin, further improving the aesthetics and usefulness of the causeway. As Mayor Hibbard said at the dedication ceremony, “For 75 years, it has connected friends, family and commerce.” The Courtney Campbell Causeway will surely continue to do so for many, many more years to come.

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