PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Florida Department of Transportation gave an update on demolition progress being made on Three Mile Bridge after barges broke loose during Hurricane Sally and destroyed a portion of the bridge.
One damaged span of the bridge has been removed while crews continue to remove other damaged portions. Two of the three barges under the bridge have also been removed. To date, 15 of the 27 barges have been removed from the area.
FDOT has three bridge contractors onsite, increasing equipment resources to include:
• 50 additional personnel to speed up demolition.
• Additional dive teams, bringing the total to eight, to assist with final inspection.
• Five barge-mounted cranes to replace existing cranes that were damaged or lost.
• A specialty barge designed to take large damaged sections away from the bridge for demolition or to be delivered to an artificial reef site.
Additional preliminary inspection findings include:
• Divers have inspected 202 underwater footings while topside inspection teams have assessed 105 spans, 202 piers and 525 beams.
• Five spans require full replacement and an additional two will require partial replacement.
• At least 12 pedestrian spans need to be replaced.
• A number of beams will need to be replaced. FDOT is still determining that number.
The U.S. Coast Guard has established a 500-yard buffer zone for all Three Mile Bridge construction activities. Vessels can use only low or idle speeds within the buffer zone. Because of the potential for underwater hazards, boaters should use caution near the bridge. The navigational channel has been inspected and is free of hazards, so crossing beneath the bridge should be done only at the navigational channel.
Motorists should continue to use all available detour routes, which include the Garcon Point
Bridge and State Road 87. Tolls on the Garcon Point Bridge have been suspended through 6 a.m., Friday, Oct. 23.
Details on the detour routes, including graphics, FAQs, and regular updates can be found online
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