Work begins next month on replacing the 1960s vintage sidewalk that stretches for about a mile alongside some of the widest beaches in Pinellas County.
"There's really nothing aesthetically pleasing about it," Treasure Island mayor Bob Minning admits. "It's functional. But we think we can do better, and that's why we're doing what we're doing."
What the tiny beach town is doing is somewhat similar to Clearwater Beach's recent improvements. Treasure Island's new, $1.5 million beach trail will also have more curves, a capped sand retention wall that people can perch on, benches, and other embellishments.
Construction will take about 90 days, which means it should be done before the upcoming winter tourist season.
The trail will have its own landscaping, and at least one hotel plans to capitalize on sand-side exposure.
"We're actually going to create a back entrance off of the trail into the Bilmar, and actually have an outdoor lobby area located over by our breezeway," Bilmar Beach Resort general manager Clyde Smith said. "So it's going to really bring people in, generate some foot traffic that helps the restaurants."
Missi Woodruff, working the front desk at the neighboring Thunderbird Beach Resort, said repeat visitors have also been waiting for the upgrade.
"They want it bigger, areas to sit down, there's not too many areas to sit as well. And more space, because you get more bikers and what not coming," she said.
Sometime next year, the beach trail will also connect to the Pinellas Trail, becoming part of one of the longest linear parks in the world.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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