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Florida State Road 699


As presently configured Florida State Road 699 is a 14.60-mile highway located entirely along the Gulf Shore of Pinellas County.  Florida State Road 699 prior to the 1945 State Road Renumbering was part of Florida State Road 233 and Florida State Road 360.  Prior to relinquishments Florida State Road 699 had a southern terminus at Pass-A-Grille Beach and a northern terminus at Florida State Road 60.  Much of the northern extent what was Florida State Road 699 has been reassigned as Pinellas County Route 183.  Florida State Road 699 is mostly known for serving beach communities in addition to numerous bridges such as the Johns Pass Bridge. 




Part 1; the history of Florida State Road 699

Prior to the 1945 State Road Renumbering what was to become Florida State Road 699 was mostly Florida State Road 233.  Florida State Road 233 began in Pass-A-Grille Beach along Gulf Boulevard near Big McPherson Bayou.  The southern terminus of Florida State Road 233 can be seen on the 1943 United State Geological Survey Map of Pass-A-Grille.  


Florida State Road 233 followed Gulf Boulevard north from Pass-A-Grille into St. Petersburg Beach.  Florida State Road 233 northbound within St. Petersburg Beach turned right on Corey Avenue where it intersected Florida State Road 263 at the southern end of the original Corey Causeway.  Florida State Road 233 northbound made a left hand turn on Blind Pass Road towards the original Blind Pass Bridge and Treasure Island.  The original Blind Pass Bridge can be seen depicted on a 1940 era postcard.

Northbound Florida State Road 233 on Treasure Island followed Gulf Boulevard to the Treasure Island Causeway at 107th Avenue.  The alignment of Florida State Road 233 from the Blind Pass Bridge to the Treasure Island Causeway is depicted on the 1943 United States Geological Survey Map of Bay Pines. 

The Treasure Island Causeway can be seen ending at Florida State Road 233 below on an undated photo.

Florida State Road 233 crossed from Treasure Island to Madeira Beach via the 1927 Johns Pass Bridge via what is now Kingfish Drive.  Upon landing in Madeira Beach, Florida State Road 233 followed what is now Village Boulevard back to Gulf Boulevard.  The alignment of Florida State Road 233 over Johns Pass can be seen on the 1943 United States Geological Survey Map of Bay Pines.  


The original Johns Pass Bridge can be seen depicted below on an undated postcard. 


Florida State Road 233 northbound continued north through Madeira Beach via Gulf Boulevard and intersected Welch Causeway (as can be seen on the 1943 United States Geological Survey Map of Bay Pines).  


Northbound Florida State Road 233 followed Gulf Boulevard through the communities of Redington Beach, North Redington Beach, Redington Shores, Indian Shores and Indian Rocks to a northern terminus at Florida State Road 360 at the 113th Avenue Bridge.   From 113th Avenue the remainder of Gulf Boulevard was part of Florida State Road 360 north to Belleair Beach.  The northern terminus of Florida State Road 233 can be seen on the 1943 United States Geological Survey Map of Clearwater. 


The entirety of Florida State Road 233 and Florida State Road 360 north of Indian Rocks were reassigned as Florida State Road 699 as part of the wider 1945 State Road Renumbering.  The 1945 State Road Renumbering replaced legislatively assigned highway numbers with a grid pattern similar to the US Route System.  Florida State Road 699 can be seen spanning from Pass-A-Grille Beach north to Belleair Beach on the 1948 Rand McNally Map of Florida



At some point during the late 1950s/early 1960s 66th Street was extended to the vicinity of 2nd Avenue South.  The extension of 66th Street continued as part of Florida State Road 693 via Pasadena Avenue onto Corey Causeway (leading to the deletion of Florida State Road 690).  Florida State Road 693 south of US Route 19A began to be co-signed as Florida State Road A19A during late 1962.  Florida State Road A19A formed for a loop of mainline US Route 19 following Florida State Road 693, Florida State Road 699 and the Pinellas Bayway.  

The modern southbound span of Corey Causeway was completed by 1966.  Corey Causeway, Florida State Road 693, southern Florida State Road 699 and the Pinellas Byway can be seen as part of Florida State Road A19A on the 1972 United States Geological Survey Map of Tampa.  Notably Florida State Road 699 is shown to be truncated to the Pinellas Byway.  This truncation likely was concurrent with the opening of the Pinellas Byway. 


During the 1960s the city of Clearwater constructed the original Sand Key Bridge as a tolled draw span over Clearwater Pass.  The construction of the Sand Key Bridge led to Florida State Road 699 being extended north from Belleair Beach to Florida State Road 60 in Clearwater Beach.  The extended Florida State Road 699 followed Gulf Boulevard, Gulfview Boulevard and Coronado Drive which can be seen on the 1974 United States Geological Survey Map of Clearwater. 


The original Sand Key Bridge can be seen in a 1973 aerial photo by Bruce Hamrick (courtesy Clearwater Public Library). 


The original Johns Pass Bridge was replaced with a new structure during 1971.  The 1971 Johns Pass Bridge also straightened Gulf Boulevard which can be seen on the 1974 United States Geological Survey Map of Seminole.  


The twin spans of the 1971 Johns Pass Bridge can be seen in a Heritage Village photo (courtesy thegabber.com).


The Florida State Road A19A was dropped during the 1980s which led to Florida State Road 699 returning to a standalone highway in St. Pete Beach and Pass-A-Grille Beach.  During 1994 the original Sand Key Bridge was replaced with the current girder bridge by the Florida Department of Transportation.  Following the opening of the new Sand Key Bridge, Florida State Road 699 was truncated to Florida State Road 688 in Indian Rocks Beach.  What had been Florida State Road 699 north of Florida State Road 688 was reassigned as Pinellas County Route 183.  

In 1997 the original Blind Pass Bridge was replaced with the current span.  The 1971 Johns Pass Bridge had become unexpectedly prone to scouring and had become bottleneck point on Florida State Road 699 due to frequent openings.  The current John’s Pass Bridge southbound lanes opened in 2008 whereas the northbound opened in 2010.

On September 25, 2013, Tampa Bay Newspapers announced the Florida Department of Transportation was in negotiations with Pinellas County to relinquish the entirety of Florida State Road 699.  The interest in relinquishing Florida State Road 699 is noted to have been spurred by what Pinellas County viewed as a lack of pedestrian features.  The article notes that an unspecified major Pinellas County road would likely be traded to the Florida Department of Transportation in exchange Florida State Road 699.  Negotiations seem to have stalled as Florida State Road 699 is still actively maintained by the Florida Department of Transportation.  



Part 2; a drive on Florida State Road 699

Florida State Road 693 the end of the modern Corey Causeway terminates at Florida State Road 699 via 7th Avenue in St. Pete Beach.  Southbound Florida State Road 699 follows 75th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard towards Pass-A-Grille Beach.  Northbound Florida State Road 699 follows Blind Pass Road towards Treasure Island.  The city of St. Petersburg Beach was formed in 1957 from a consolidation of Pass-A-Grille, Don CeSar Place, Belle Vista and the namesake community.  The city name was shorted to "St. Pete Beach" via popular vote during March 1994. 


Northbound Florida State Road 699 follows Blind Pass Road to the namesake Blind Pass.  Florida State Road 699 crosses the Blind Pass Bridge to Treasure Island.  Indian Rocks Beach is signed as 12 miles away on northbound Florida State Road 699 from Florida State Road 693.  








Florida State Road 699 northbound transitions back onto Gulf Boulevard.  Gulf Boulevard south of Blind Pass Road can be used for Treasure Island Beach access.  Treasure Island was named due to a promotion in 1915 during which land developers buried wooden chests along the shoreline.  The city of Treasure Island incorporated during 1955 as a consolidation of the namesake community, Boca Ciega, Sunshine Beach and Sunset Beach.  



Northbound Florida State Road 699 along Gulf Boulevard intersects the Treasure Island Causeway at 107th Avenue (Pinellas County Route 150).  The Treasure Island Causeway as originally configured opened during 1939 and spurred development in the area.  





Northbound Florida State Road 699 along Gulf Boulevard crosses the modern Johns Pass Bridge into Madeira Beach.  
















The city of Madeira Beach incorporated during 1947.  The original northern end of the 1927 Johns Bridge can be found at the end of Villages Boulevard at Johns Pass Boardwalk. 


The current twin-bascule Johns Pass Bridge is easily observed from the Johns Pass Boardwalk.  


Northbound Florida State Road 699 follows Gulf Boulevard through Madeira Beach and intersects Florida State Road 666/Tom Stuart Causeway at 150th Avenue.  





Northbound Florida State Road 699 follows Gulf Boulevard through Redington Beach, North Redington Beach, Redington Shores and Indian Shores.  Florida State Road 699 intersects Pinellas County Route 694 at Park Boulevard.  Redington Beach incorporated during 1945, North Redington Beach during 1953 and Redington Shores during 1955. 











Northbound Florida State Road 699 follows Gulf Boulevard through Indian Shores and Indian Rocks Beach to a northern terminus at Florida State Road 688.  Gulf Boulevard continues ahead as Pinellas County Route 183.  Indian Shores incorporated during 1949 whereas the incorporation date for Indian Rocks Beach is unclear.  













Part 3; a drive on Pinellas County Route 183

Gulf Boulevard continues northbound as Pinellas County Route 183.  Pinellas County Route 183 runs through the center boundary of Belleair Shore and Belleair Beach where it intersects the Belleair Beach Causeway.  Belleair Shore incorporated during 1955 whereas the incorporation date for Belleair Beach is unclear.  









Northbound Pinellas County Route 183 crosses over Sand Key (which is located in the city of Clearwater) and Clearwater Channel via the Sand Key Bridge.  The modern Sand Key Bridge is 2,520 feet in length and carries a clearance of 72 feet to vessels crossing underneath.  Upon Pinellas County Route 183 crossing the Sand Key Bridge it enters Clearwater Beach and transitions onto Gulfview Boulevard.  



















Pinellas County Route 183 northbound follows Gulfview Boulevard and Coronado Drive to a terminus at Florida State Road 60.  











Clearwater is the oldest city along the Florida State Road 699/Pinellas County Route 183 corridor having incorporated originally during 1891.  Pier 60 can be found at the mutual terminus of Pinellas County Route 183 and Florida State Road 60 on Clearwater Beach.  Pier 60 opened during June 1962 as an extension of Clearwater Municipal Pier.  





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