Constructing the new westbound (Gulf Breeze to Pensacola) bridge
Constructing the new westbound (Gulf Breeze to Pensacola) bridge follows a similar process that was used to complete the eventual eastbound structure last summer.
First, concrete piles are driven into the bay floor to provide the foundation for the bridge. In the case of the Pensacola Bay Bridge these piles are then topped with a “trophy piece” consisting of a pile footer, a column, and a cap. The trophy pieces are then connected horizontally using concrete girders. Finally, decks are poured atop the girders to construct the riding surface.
These concrete components are labeled in the accompanying photo. All of them are fabricated at the concrete casting yard located at the Runyan Shipyard facility on Bayou Chico. Once the pieces are ready for installation, they’re shipped by barge the short distance to the bridge construction site.
Here’s a look at progress to date for each of the major components of the new westbound bridge.
• Piles: 1,878 of 2,124 driven.
• Trophies: 278 of 416 placed.
• Girders: 510 of 1020 set.
• Decks: 105 of 210 poured.
Completion of the new Pensacola Bay Bridge, along with the improved 17th Avenue interchange, is currently estimated for late next year.