HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (WKRG) — Hurlburt Field staff expects the Highway 98 pedestrian bridge in Okaloosa County to be repaired by Jan. 30, 2023.

Hurricane Sally in 2020 caused damage to the well-known structure. Crews removed the bridge and have stored it on the edge of Highway 98 Eastbound ever since.

“The original Period of Performance for the repair project was six months long.  However, the contractor was required to perform ultrasonic testing on the bridge,” said Public Affairs.

Ultrasonic testing revealed more structural problems and expanded repair efforts to include painting and battling erosion concerns. Hurlburt Field immediately had the structure inspected after Hurricane Sally. The flooding from the storm eroded the northside structure causing a shift and crack.

“The pedestrian bridge stretching across U.S. Highway 98 allows Air Commandos and their families to travel a direct route from base housing to the Soundside on foot as an alternative to driving. The Soundside includes activities ranging from Outdoor Recreation to The Hooch Restaurant and Bar. The bridge is also used by individuals participating in physical activity.”

Hurlburt Field Public Affairs

Staff said work is complete to the northside structure. Crews are currently working to install reinforcement material on the actual bridge structure.

Other improvements:

  • The bridge structure is reinforced with metal plates on the bottom span.
  • Strengthening efforts at bolted splice connections. 
  • The entire structure to be repainted helps with corrosion concerns from the environmental conditions

“These repairs will strengthen the bridge, resulting in a more robust structure than the original design.”

Hurlburt Field Public Affairs

The construction originally was set for six months. The new completion date is pushed to Jan. 30, 2023. Hurlburt Field repaired storm drainage around the bridge structure prior to the bridge construction.

Once the project is complete, Highway 98 will be shut down for installation. Check back with WKRG News 5 and Hurlburt Field for updates.