Treasure Island Beach Trail
What follows below is the original plan for the trail upgrade and extension. While the extension was never realized due to neighborhood opposition and the upgrades were scaled back, the project today is a $1.4-million improvement project scheduled for completion in December 2012.
In August 1993, an oil spill occurred in Tampa Bay, which led to a settlement which funded a program of restoration projects intended to address the lost access and use of Tampa Bay area beaches and waterways. On August 14, 2001, the City of Treasure Island entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to fund two separate projects from the “oil spill” funding. The first of the projects was the Sunset Vista Trailhead Park. The second project is the “Treasure Island Walkway Extension”, more commonly called the Beach Trail extension. This project is intended to expand the current Beach Trail north approximately 3800 feet from 119th Avenue to 127th Avenue and to the south approximately 4000 feet from 104th Avenue to 97th Avenue. The southern end would connect up to the Sunset Vista Trailhead Park. Funding in the amount of $380,000 has been earmarked for this project. (The extension of the trail was nixed due to neighborhood opposition).
In addition, it is anticipated that City of Treasure Island will be funding portions of the Beach Trail extension and separately funding a project to improve the current Beach Trail. At the February 8, 2005 meeting, the City Commission approved a request for landscape architecture services. When this selection was completed in March 2005, two assignments were initiated related to the Beach Trail. The first was to develop proposed improvements to the existing trail. The second was to develop the “footprint” for the extension of the trail both north and south so that the NOAA funding can be utilized for the construction of this extension. The landscape architectural firm selected was Phil Graham & Company, P.A. During this time, the City Manager and Public Works Director met with NOAA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to review and coordinate the conclusion of the Sunset Vista project and the Beach Trail extension project.
Also during this time, the Treasure Island Civic Leaders Group held several meetings to discuss the beach trail extension and improvement. In April, 2005, a list of the Civic Leaders recommendations was presented to the City Commission for their review and consideration. Therefore, in July 2005, the City Commission approved the development of the Master Plan for the Beach Trail extension as well as the upgrade of the existing portion of the Beach Trail. A total of $100,000 was appropriated for this project.
Staff began working with Phil Graham & Company in September and October and after several meetings, a public Beach Trail Kickoff meeting was held on October 26, 2005. In addition to the Civic Leaders Group, the members of the Planning and Zoning Board, Beach Stewardship Committee, and Beautification Committee were iinvited to attend. Following this initial community meeting, staff held two meetings with the consultant in November, 2005, and then conducted a trail walk with the consultant on December 8, 2005. During the last week in January, 2006, staff and the consultant held two meetings with the stakeholders (all owners of property west of Gulf Boulevard from the John’s Pass Bridge to the Sunset Vista Trailhead Park) to discuss the idea of the trail upgrades and extension and to get important feedback as well. In April, 2006, staff and the consultant participated in a Beach Trail Regulatory Agency meeting at the NOAA offices in downtown St. Petersburg to discuss the regulatory issues relating to both the upgrading of the trail and its expansion. Then in May, 2006, staff, the consultant, and several regulatory agency representatives met and conducted a field reconnaisance of the entire length of the existing trail as well as the the proposed options for the trail expansion.
The goal of the Beach Trail is to provide an attractive and functional beachfront trail from the Blind Pass Bridge / Sunset Vista Trailhead Park area to the John’s Pass Bridge for the use and enjoyment of the community’s residents and visitors.The Beach Trail is to be located on City-owned coastal land using available rights-of-way and easements.The City of Treasure Island has an opportunity to provide a unique and functional pedestrian link to set Treasure Island apart from other coastal cities.
BEACH TRAIL BENEFITS
What are the benefits of a Beach Trail System for Treasure Island?
- Increased health opportunities with expanded activities
- Increased quality of life for residents and visitors
- Economic development through increased tourism
- Protecting the environment by moving activity away from sensitive dunes and increasing native vegetation
- Sea Turtle Friendly Design
Click here for pdf of the RECREATIONAL TRAIL PROGRAM GRANT
DOCUMENTS & PRESENTATIONS
Beach Trail Construction Schedule
10-22-12 to 11-26-12
10-22-12 to 12-14-12
Beach Trail Construction Contract
(the numbers of the project)
Beach Trail Access Plan
(project timeline and scope of work)
Beach Trail Commission Presentation
(the amenities and sytle of the new trail)