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Workers lower 120-foot steel bridge over Shingle Creek as part of trail expansion

Posted on Friday, July 24, 2015 at 11:37 am

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By Charlie Reed
Staff Writer
Workers on Thursday used a massive crane to lower a 120-foot steel bridge into place over Shingle Creek.
It’s a milestone moment for the Shingle Creek Regional Trail, a joint project between Osceola County and the city of Kissimmee.
It will be a while longer before the bridge is accessible, officials said Thursday.
It’s part of a regional trail project covering 32 miles between Orange and Osceola counties. Eventually, the trail will merge into a larger network that will extend from Kissimmee to Wekiva Springs State Park in Seminole County, and from Orlando to Mascotte in Lake County.
The South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Department of Transportation are also supporting the project.
The Kissimmee portion of the trail runs north from the Osceola County Welcome Center and Historical Museum to the new Osceola County Historical Society’s Pioneer Village. The project includes a 14-foot wide paved paths, boardwalks, the new bridge and nearby Steffee Landing, a launch point for boats and kayaks with rental offices that opened in fall 2014.
The local portion of the trail broke ground in January after nearly 20 years in the making, according to longtime local politicians including County Com­missioner Mike Harford and Kissimmee Mayor Jim Swan.
Harford, whose district includes the Shingle Creek Corridor and who doesn’t live far from where the trail, said the project delivers on a commitment to preserve environmentally sensitive land.
“This is a great piece for our local residents, to be able to see some of the history of Shingle Creek as they go north and cross that bridge and go into a Pioneer Village that will talk about how this area was settled in the 1800s and see how those people lived,” Harford said
in January.