The shared-use path on the new Smokehouse Bay bridge already has one big fan in Barbara Nakelski.

“This is our first trip across the new bridge,” Nakelski said, as she crossed the upgraded Smokehouse Bridge with her dog, Max.

Actually, only one half of the new bridge is completed.

But pedestrians and bicyclists are enjoying the new shared-use path that replaces a skinny sidewalk that was part of the old bridge.

“There’s a lot more protection from the roadway now,” Nakelski said, “It’s much wider. And there’s a lot of places to rest. It’s great for walkers and bicyclists. It’s a feature now.”

Nakelski, originally from Long Island, has been a resident of Marco Island since 1989.

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