New bridge opens to traffic
The new (eventual eastbound) Pensacola Bay Bridge opened to traffic Wednesday evening, Sept. 4 at approximately 10 p.m. Eastbound (Pensacola to Gulf Breeze) traffic is now using the new bridge while westbound (Gulf Breeze to Pensacola) drivers remain temporarily on the “old” bridge until approximately Sunday evening Sept. 8.
This photo, taken near the center arch of the bridge, shows the first group of vehicles passing from Gulf Breeze to Pensacola.
Once westbound traffic is shifted the new bridge will temporarily accommodate two lanes of east and two lanes of westbound traffic separated by a center lane for emergency vehicles. Shifting traffic in this manner will allow the construction team to demolish the current bridge, then construct the new westbound structure along with the new 17th Avenue interchange.
Speaking of 17th Avenue, it will remain closed between U.S 98 (Gregory Street) and the CSX Railroad overpass until the westbound traffic shift is completed. Drivers should use Ninth Avenue and U.S. 90 (Cervantes Street) as a detour route.
All construction is currently estimated for completion in mid-2021.