Water-Related News

Fred Howard Park Beach and Causeway Opening

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The beach at Pinellas County's Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs will reopen on Dec. 28. The beach and causeway have been closed to the public since Sept. 2, 2008, for bridge and roadway reconstruction.

The closure of the causeway and adjoining beach was necessary to replace the aging bridges. The new roadway features wider travel lanes with shoulders and sidewalks on both sides.

The design of the new structures reduces the number of pier supports, increasing the waterway views. The upgraded bridges have a lifespan of 75 years, achieved with a concrete mix designed to combat the extremely corrosive saltwater environment. By controlling the movement of silt and sediments during construction, important marine wildlife habitats were protected, including seagrass beds, wetlands and mangrove estuaries.

"We are excited to re-open access to this popular beach and recreational area," said Pete Yauch, Pinellas County public works director. "This bridge is built to last, so the public's accessibility should be preserved for many years to come."

Fred Howard Park consists of 155 acres adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. Opened in 1966, the park is the second most-used park in the Pinellas County park system, with almost 2 million visitors enjoying the park and its facilities annually. It is located in Tarpon Springs at 1700 Sunset Drive.