Why does the existing bridge need to be replaced?
Both bridges were constructed in 1963 and are considered “functionally obsolete” because of their narrow width. There are no shoulders on the bridge, and the sidewalks on the north side are only 3½ foot wide. The multi-use path on the south side of the bridge is only 6 feet wide.
Bridges built in the early 1960’s were typically designed to remain in service for about 50 years. Both bridges are more than 50 years old. The Main and Tide Relief bridges do not meet current engineering standards for resisting damage from high waves during significant storms and vessel impact. Ongoing maintenance and repair of the main bascule bridge machinery also affects reliability and results in traffic delays. Major rehabilitation or replacement of both bridges is needed to keep the bridges open and the main bascule bridge operating efficiently.
When will construction start?
At this time, final design and construction are not funded. Completion of the PD&E Study and approval from the FDOT qualifies future phases of the project for federal funding.