What work is being performed?
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Three is replacing the Pensacola Bay Bridge.
How much does the project cost and who is paying for it?
The design and construction cost of the project is approximately $430.2 million. The project is being funded by the Florida Department of Transportation.
Can you describe the features and amenities of the new bridge?
The new bridge will consist of two separate and parallel structures. Each bridge will accommodate three 12-foot travel lanes along with 10-foot inside and outside shoulders. The wider shoulders will make it easier to respond to incidents on the bridge, remove disabled vehicles, and keep traffic moving. Additionally, the new east and westbound bridges will include a 10-foot multi-use path that should quickly become a favorite for walkers, joggers, and bicyclists.
How long will it take to complete the work?
The project is expected to be completed by late-2021.
Will there be any traffic impacts during construction period?
FDOT and the construction team will endeavor to limit traffic impacts whenever possible. Temporary lane closures will not be permitted between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m.
What is the plan for the recreational areas adjacent to the bridge in Gulf Breeze?
The wayside park on the east side of U.S. 98 in Gulf Breeze and the boat launch facility on the on the west side closed in March 2017. These areas will be used to stage construction vehicles and equipment and will be accessible only by construction and emergency services personnel. Plans call for constructing new recreational facilities at these locations.
What is the plan for the recreational areas adjacent to the bridge in Pensacola?
The wayside park on the east side of U.S. 98 is slated to remain open during construction. However, the area on the west side of U.S. 98 closed in March 2017. This area will be used to stage construction vehicles and equipment and not accessible to the general public. Plans call for constructing new recreational facilities in Pensacola.
Who is responsible for the construction work?
The construction project is being administered by the Florida Department of Transportation, District Three. Skanska USA Civil Southeast, Inc. is leading the design-build team. Eisman & Russo is providing construction engineering and inspection services in support of FDOT.
Explain the means and methods for the demolition process.
Four holes are cored through each concrete bridge deck and lifting brackets are inserted. The deck sections are then cut free and lifted by a crane onto a disposal barge for transportation to the reef site. Hydraulic-powered concrete pile shears are then be used to cut the pile just below the cap so it can be placed on the barge. Finally, the same pile shears are dropped to the bay bottom and the remainder of the pile is cut off two-feel below the bottom of the bay (also called the “mudline.”) The cut pile is then lifted onto the disposal barge.
What is the anticipated volume of demolition debris?
The volume of concrete demolition debris from the old Pensacola Bay Bridge is estimated to be approximately 47,399 cubic yards. The weight of this debris is approximately 160,000-tons.
How long will it take to wrap-up the demolition work?
The contractor’s schedule reflects demolition operations continuing through 2020.
Will construction of the new bridge continue while demolition is underway?
Yes, construction of the new westbound bridge is underway simultaneous with demolition activities.
How far offshore is the disposal site?
There are two artificial reef sites permitted by Escambia County, Fla. that are approximately 4.3 nautical miles south-southeast of the Pensacola Bay pass to the Gulf of Mexico. A third site, and the one that will be used first, is 8.95 nautical miles southeast of the Pensacola bay pass to the Gulf of Mexico.
Are there any restrictions on marine traffic?
Yes. The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for regulating marine traffic. The USCG has established a 500-yard buffer zone around all construction equipment and activities. Boaters may use only low or idle speed within the buffer zone. In addition, passing beneath the bridge is allowed only at the navigational channel at the center of the bridge.
What is the status of the Pensacola Bay Fishing Pier that is adjacent to the bridge?
The pier is operated by Escambia County. Decisions on opening or closing the pier will continue to be within the purview of the county.