Press Release provided by FDOT
Tolls on the Garcon Point Bridge, the temporary detour route established by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) during the closure of the Pensacola Bay Bridge, are suspended through 11:59 p.m. Friday, November 13. FDOT will provide additional updates as they become available.
To assist commuters, FDOT continues to provide users a free, temporary bus route to help transport passengers between Pensacola and Gulf Breeze through Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT). ECAT has modified the original route to include stops at the ECAT Transfer Center in Pensacola, the Palm Beach Club and Pensacola Beach Boardwalk in Pensacola Beach, and Gulf Breeze Hospital. FDOT is also gathering information such as potential ridership, times of operation, and duration of service as well as reviewing existing facilities that would be necessary for the safe operation of a ferry.
Three bridge contractors mobilized by FDOT are working around the clock, focusing their efforts at the outermost spans of the bridge to facilitate construction and minimize impacts to the existing structure. To date, more than 300 additional workers have been brought in to increase resources for demolition and reconstruction, salvage and pile operations, and concrete fabrication.
FDOT has approved multiple construction design plans and is reviewing additional design plans for the permanent repairs that address the reconstruction of spans for the bridge and reestablishment of four lanes of traffic on the bridge at the same condition as expected for new construction.
The fabrication of multiple concrete piles, piers, and beams continues in preparation for reconstruction. The inventory of concrete piles and beams continues to increase with production coming from the Pensacola precast yard and a facility in Tampa.
FDOT has been continuously working to improve the traffic flow along and has reduced the average commute time by 25 percent. Additional improvements are underway as construction has begun to widen 2,000 feet of northbound and southbound S.R. 281 south of the I-10 interchange and widen the eastbound I-10 off ramp at eastbound S.R. 281 off ramp to two lanes.
To reinforce the expectation of complete transparency and community assistance, FDOT’s outreach team continues to meet with stakeholder groups, state and local officials, civic organizations and local business owners to discuss the bridge reconstruction as well as other actions that are being considered to efficiently restore regional connectivity.
The Pensacola Bay Bridge has a targeted re-opening date of March 2021. Once repairs are complete, all four lanes will be open with no load restrictions. As each repair method is developed, FDOT will be conducting reviews to ensure the contractor is hitting all milestones in the established schedule.
Details on the detour routes, including graphics, FAQs, and regular updates can be found online at fdot.gov/PensacolaBay. Members of the public wishing to receive these updates can choose to subscribe by providing their email address on this website as well.