PENSACOLA, Fla. — With damage inspections complete, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) contractors are focusing on pile driving operations and setting beams for the reconstruction of the Pensacola Bay Bridge.
Large cranes mounted on barges are lifting the concrete piles into position where they are driven into the bay bottom using a 20,000-pound diesel-powered hammer. While there are no direct traffic impacts, persons nearby may detect noise and the possibility of vibration. Pile driving work will occur seven-days-a-week and will not occur during overnight hours. Crews will also set the first set of beams, the horizontal supports for the bridge decks, beginning this week.
Boaters are advised to use caution near the Pensacola Bay Bridge. The U.S. Coast Guard has established a 500-yard buffer zone for all construction activities. Vessels may use only low or idle speeds within the buffer zone. Crossing beneath the bridge should be done only at the navigational channel as it has been inspected and is free of hazards.
Work to widen 2,000 feet of northbound and southbound S.R. 281 south of the I-10 interchange and the eastbound I-10 off-ramp at S.R. 281 to two lanes to improve travel time on the detour route is scheduled to be complete this week. Commuters can also use the Escambia County Area Transit’s (ECAT) temporary bus route travel between Pensacola and Gulf Breeze free of charge.
Drivers should continue to use all available detour routes, which include the Garcon Point Bridge and State Road 87. At this time, tolls on the Garcon Point Bridge have been suspended through Sunday, Dec. 13.
The Pensacola Bay Bridge has a targeted re-opening date of March 2021.
Details on the detour routes, including graphics, FAQs, and regular updates can be found online at fdot.gov/PensacolaBay.