Walk The Bridge Project
The bridges in Pinellas County, Florida, get a lot more foot traffic than you might expect. That is, until you see the views from the top yourself. There is something spectacular about working your way to the top, whether by foot or by bike, to be instantly rewarded with a vantage point unlike any other. Our goal is to walk across all of the bridges that allow for safe foot traffic.
“Anything in life worth having is worth working for.” Andrew Carnegie
Memorial Causeway, Clearwater
The views that we enjoyed from the top of the Memorial Causeway were instant gratification for the feat of actually having to walk over it. It was even worth the latent sunburn. In my defense, it was my first time walking across the bridge and I thoroughly underestimated how long the bridge was and how long I would be exposed to direct sunlight. Oops.
The only unfortunate thing that I have encountered while crossing the Memorial Causeway is the volume of the traffic going by. Since it’s a highly trafficked bridge, a major throughway to and from some of the most pristine beaches in the State of Florida, the noise from the cars and trucks driving across can get rather loud and annoying, at times.
Yet, almost as a secret redemption, there is a mostly hidden pedestrian pathway with some spectacular views that circles down to the Harborview area below. It was a pleasant surprise, although the seclusion of it should bring caution to lone explorers. I saw maybe three people total while circling down and I would not have felt very safe without the company that was with me.
Another pleasing aspect of this particular bridge is that there is a lot to see and do on either side of the bridge, including plenty of good eats nearby.
Belleair Causeway, Belleair
The Belleair Causeway is one of the shorter bridges in the area and is a fantastic bridge to start walking. There is a lot that goes on around this area, too. Below the bridge is an expansive parking lot with several boat launches. At the time of writing this, a bait house is being built, since the fishing under the bridge is pretty good and there are not any good bait houses nearby.
On the other side of the parking lot is one of the county’s few dog beaches and it is a fairly decent beach. Unfortunately, sometimes local fisherman will clean their catch nearby, so anyone who ventures off too far away from the main beach area will likely encounter fish heads and carcasses.
Regardless of what goes on below, the walk across is peaceful. The traffic over the bridge is relatively steady, but it does not get nearly as loud as the other bridges. One consideration, however, is that the sidewalk for pedestrians is not as large as other bridges.
One of the best part of this bridge is all of the people who enjoy the recreation of crossing it. You can often find athletes training, friends out for a weekly walk, lovers enjoying the sunset, or youth making their way to work.