The Study began in December 2014. Data collection is underway. If you would like to be included on our mailing list, please respond on the “Contact Us” page of this website. A public “Kick-Off” meeting was held in March 2015. The purpose of this meeting was to receive input from the community about the proposed improvements.
A study to analyze the effects of sea level rise projections was conducted in 2017. The results have been posted on the project webpage. A recommendation on the direction of the Project PD&E Study is forthcoming.
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 3 ½ 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 an alternative to replace the bridge be selected?
The PD&E study is underway and is expected to be completed in mid-2018. The alternatives under consideration were presented to the community at a Public Alternatives Workshop on March 29, 2016 to obtain community input. The information derived from the workshop was presented to the Board of County Commissioners on August 4, 2016. Changes in Federal funding policies and permitting regulations required additional research and the study to be extended. The Recommended Alternative is expected to be selected by the Board of County Commissioners in mid-2018 and presented at a Public Hearing in the Fall of 2018.
- The selection will require approval from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) after all Public Hearing comments are considered.
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 and FHWA will qualify future phases of the project for federal funding.