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FDOT: Pensacola Bay Bridge targeted to reopen March 2021 as major repairs begin

Posted at 4:26 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 16:26:37-05

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WTXL) — The Florida Department of Transportation announced new developments regarding the repairs of the Pensacola Bay Bridge on Thursday.

The bridge has a targeted reopening date of March 2021 after sections of the bridge were damaged during Hurricane Sally, and after repairs, all four lanes will be open with no load restrictions, according to FDOT officials.

This week, FDOT contractors will begin driving piles and setting beams on the bridge to repair damaged portions. The piles act as the vertical support structure that is used to hold up the bridge, while the beams are the horizontal supports designed to span one support to another.

In addition to driving piles and setting beams, the FDOT also continues to:

  • Mobilize multiple contractors working around the clock to facilitate construction and minimize impacts to the existing structure.
  • Approve multiple construction design plans and review additional design plans for the permanent repairs that address the reconstruction of spans for the bridge and reestablishment of four lanes of traffic on the bridge at the same condition as expected for new construction.
  • Widen 2,000 feet of northbound and southbound S.R. 281 south of the I-10 interchange and widen the eastbound I-10 off-ramp at eastbound S.R. 281 off-ramp to two lanes to improve travel time on the detour route.
  • Meet with stakeholder groups, state and local officials, civic organizations and local business owners to discuss the bridge reconstruction as well as other actions that are being considered to efficiently restore regional connectivity.
  • Fund the Escambia County Area Transit’s temporary bus route to help transport passengers for free between Pensacola and Gulf Breeze.

Officials advise drivers to continue to use all available detour routes, including the nearby Garcon Point Bridge, of which tolls have been suspended through Sunday, Dec. 13.