A visually and cartographically explicit narrative blog about Tampa's built history and development.
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Tunnel Under the Bridge Downtown NOW OPEN

Went for a bike ride through downtown recently and was surprised as I rode over the Platt Street bridge to see a sign that said "Pedestrian Tunnel Open"!  You may recall my recent post where I noted that I hadn't even known of this tunnel until my friend posted some pictures on his blog.
Well the tunnel is now open, due to the ongoing refurbishment of the Platt Street Bridge.  Walking into the passage for the first time I was a bit apprehensive, but once I emerged on the other side I realized what a great asset this feature is, and can be.  Anyone who has tried to cross Bayshore or Platt at this intersection knows that there are only 2 ways across, legally.  Traffic coming into downtown from Bayshore never stops, so crossing at either the South or East sides of the intersection is not easy.

I went back last evening to take more photographs for this post and noticed several other people using the passage.  I hope in the future for this tunnel to be refurbished and better connected with the surrounding sidewalk.  The stairs should be replaced with a ramp and the wall between Tony Jannus park and North side of the tunnel opened.  This would be such a great asset for bicyclists.

Hillsborough County is heading the current Platt Street Bridge reconstruction project, even though the City of Tampa owns the bridge.  I called the County and asked how long the passage would be open, they told me that the City was the one responsible for the passage.  But, if the County needs to close the passage they would put signs up in advance noting the upcoming closure.

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