On Tuesday, June 21, a group of local leaders, elected officials, community partners, and citizens attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the Duke Energy Trail extension in Pinellas County. The construction will add 1.2 miles to the trail at the U.S. 19 overpass near Enterprise Road in Clearwater, where the trail currently ends just west of U.S. 19. The 1.2 mile trail project is funded by the Penny for Pinellas 1-percent sales tax, which allows the county to make improvements to infrastructure and quality of life in the community without raising property taxes. Future additions to the trail will begin construction once additional funding is available.
When the Duke Energy Trail is finished, it will be 22.5 miles long and part of a 75-mile loop around Pinellas County called the Pinellas Trail Loop, providing more travel options for cyclists and pedestrians. Eventually, the Duke Energy Trail will connect to the East Lake/Tarpon Springs section of the Pinellas Trail and will later connect to the planned Weedon Island Trail. Currently, the Duke Energy Trail connects to the Ream Wilson East-West Trail and Belleair Rd 2.5 miles long in Clearwater, which will eventually have a connection to Clearwater Beach to Tampa Bay via the Courtney Campbell Trail, which will connect to Pasco and Hernando counties via links between the West Tampa Greenway, Upper Tampa Bay Trail, and Suncoast Parkway Trail.