3 Mile Bridge closure affecting businesses, causing headaches for drivers

Local News

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Many people, including state and local elected leaders, are voicing their frustrations as they patiently wait six months for the Pensacola Bay Bridge (also known as the 3 Mile Bridge) to be repaired.

“It’s taken me an hour-and-a-half, an hour forty-five, to get to work and I’m used to it being 12 minutes,” Shelby Taylor said.

Shelby’s family owns Global Grill in downtown Pensacola. They live across Pensacola Bay in Gulf Breeze but they are all now taking the Garcon Point Bridge.

“We’re actually looking at getting a rental in Pensacola because it’s such a long drive and I don’t like driving at night,” Shelby said. “I’ve been staying at friends’ when I can, when I don’t carpool with by brothers or mom.”

Joe Abston at The Tin Cow said this has also affected his team.

“We had employees who had to basically find other work,” Abston said. “We had one employee who moved into town and one who still commutes.”

The Florida Department of Transportation has said it could take six months to repair the bridge that was damaged during Hurricane Sally.

“That’s such an inconvenience,” Shelby said. “How do they expect people to wait that long? I understand it’s a big project and they’re going to have to do it but I think it’s kinda crazy how all that happened in the first place and it could’ve possibly been prevented.”

Skanska, the contractor building the new bridge, is saying very little publicly. Skanska is accused of not securing its barges that got loose causing damage to the bridge. City and state leaders are calling them out for not being transparent.

“They should’ve been here from the day after the storm and had somebody here that was providing real answers,” District 2 State Representative Alex Andrade said. “I find their lack of response publicly to be unacceptable.”

ECAT buses are giving free rides between Pensacola and Gulf Breeze and the City of Pensacola is working on possible starting a ferry service as well.

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