The Upper Tampa Bay Trail is a Hillsborough County Trail that follows the alignment of Channel A and crosses Sheldon Road just north of Channel A. There is a pedestrian signal located where the trail crosses Sheldon Road for trail users to stop traffic. Hillsborough County’s plan was to build a trail underpass to cross the pedestrian trail under the Sheldon Road bridge adjacent to Channel A, so the pedestrians and other trail users would not have to cross the heavily traveled roadway.
The project became eligible for Federal funding and the FDOT moved forward with this project using the Design Build alternative delivery method. The trail design for this project involved several challenges:
- wetland and floodplain impacts were created where the trail encroached into the Channel A waterway and had to be mitigated
- there was an existing SWFWMD permit obtained by the County for Sheldon Road a permit mod had to be obtained to include the trail project on an accelerated schedule
- the project required construction of three retaining wall systems
- a sheet pile wall was required along the Channel A where the trail encroached into the water. The portion of the retaining wall located under the bridge had vertical height constraints requiring special construction methods
- the bridge abutment slope had to be removed to make room for the trail and a poured in place concrete retaining wall was built to support the earth under the bridge abutment
- the trail approaches to the bridge required a downward slope and significant earth cuts that required a retaining wall system. A poured in place concrete retaining wall was built adjacent to the trail. This retaining wall was only a few feet away from an existing 30-inch reclaimed water main that required extra precautions during construction to avoid a blow-out.
Other project elements included concrete paving, asphalt paving, signing and pavement marking for the trail, drainage facilities, riprap along Channel A, BMP’s, and lighting under the bridge deck. The trail was designed in accordance with FDOT design criteria for trails and meeting ADA standards.