DUNEDIN - Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski said artistic and architectural aspects of the Dunedin Causeway Bridges should be given serious consideration at some point during the replacement or rehabilitation project.
Speaking after a county presentation on the bridge at the City Commission meeting Feb. 5, Ward Bujalski said “we have an opportunity to do something really creative here.”
She said the bridge accommodates 1.2 million people annually who travel to Honeymoon Island, the top state park in attendance.
“And the economic values of that to our region – having some form of architectural value and artistic integrity to this bridge is important,” she said, “not only to the city of dunedin and our residents, but to the region and the tourists that visit us.”
She is looking to staff to have a clear process to approach the county about other areas of the causeway.
“Once the bridge is determined – the size the looks and the effects – wherever those ends of bridges end, there is still a ton of things that we all feel strongly that need to be achieved,” she said.
Once commissioners have an understanding of those issue, they can start expressing to county commissioners “how important some of these other things will be as we all have relationships,” Ward Bujalski said.
Speaking to county officials on their presentation, Commissioner Deborah Kynes said she “appreciated the spirit of cooperation and I think you’re showing that.”
“I think that’s what everyone wants to be – partners in coming to the solution that’s going to be maybe everybody gives a little, but it’s equitable to the community and identity to the community,” Kynes said.
Jackie Nigro, Dunedin Causeway Bridge Ad Hoc Committee chairman, said her board “was the first to receive the presentation.”
She found county officials to be “warm, very inclusive, very helpful not threatening in anyway but trying to do anything they can to make our city feel comfortable.”