Friendship TrailBridge spans Tampa Bay with the world's longest over-the-water recreational trail. Spared from demolition by an effective "Save the Gandy" bridge advocacy campaign, the 2.6-mile span is a unique venue for bicyclists, in-line skaters, runners, joggers, fishermen and persons with disabilities.
The 40-year old Gandy bridge was saved 17 hours before scheduled demolition and rehabilitated with the $6.7 million allocated to destroy the bridge. Two governments joined forces with citizen involvement to turn this into a reality. The Board of County Commissioners in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties both voted to take ownership for one-half of the bridge.
Friendship Trail Corporation was formed to coordinate the public and private fund raising efforts for $320,000 operations and maintenance costs shared by both Counties. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of engraved bricks or distance markers go towards the ongoing costs to operate the bridge. Friendship TrailBridge has received numerous awards and serves more than 600,000 users annually.
A 15-mile Friendship Trail is being developed on both sides with the TrailBridge as the centerpiece. A planned 10-mile South Tampa Greenway will provide multi-use trail connections from the Friendship TrailBridge.