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Bridge to get ahead of its opening blast

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Because the Clearwater Memorial Causeway will already be open, the celebration will have to be short and one-sided. By AARON SHAROCKMAN Published August 17, 2005 CLEARWATER – The Aug. 27 celebration to open the Clearwater Memorial Causeway bridge will go on, albeit with less pomp. City Council members agreed to scale back the grand opening this week after learning the bridge will already have been open for as many as 10 days. So instead of a four-hour party on the new half-milelong bridge, the ceremony will last a little over an hour. Instead of shutting down the whole bridge, crews will close only the eastbound lanes. “We have to have some sort of celebration,” said council member Carlen Petersen. “It’s 12 years in the making,” said colleague Bill Jonson. “Clearly, it’s something to celebrate.” City officials are expecting 300 to 500 people for the event, which starts at 9 a.m. After speeches and a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, there will be a 3K run over the new bridge. It will all be wrapped up by 10:15 a.m., and the bridge will reopen to traffic. “We really do need to get people on the bridge,” said council member John Doran. “Lots of people on the bridge at one time. It’ll be a great visual.” The city could have delayed the opening of the bridge, now scheduled for Thursday, but builder PCL Civil Constructors said it would have cost the city an extra $160,000. Source:
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