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14 projects make up New Pass Bridge summer rehab

FDOT plans Jan. 16 event to answer questions about renovations planned for the bridge in summer 2020.

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  • | 12:20 p.m. January 8, 2020
Work is expected to begin in June.
Work is expected to begin in June.
  • Longboat Key
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The Florida Department of Transportation has set a date in mid-January for an open house to discuss proposed structural improvements and repairs to the New Pass bridge.

Among the work planned for the link to Longboat Key from St. Armands Key: repairs to the concrete approach span; replacement of the drawbridge span’s open grid deck; a rebalancing of the movable span; a cleaning and recoating of the movable span's steel to protect it from the elements; a cleaning and recoating of the approach span concrete; reconditioning of the machinery drive system, span locks and electrical systems. Also, an underwater power cable is to be replaced. 

That work is envisioned to begin in June 2020, with completion planned for late 2020. Brian Rick, a spokesman for the FDOT, said the price estimate for the work is $2.8 million.

Work, meanwhile, continues on the Longboat Pass bridge. FDOT now envisions that project to wrap up early this year, while initial planning gets underway for its eventual replacement. 

Work is expected to begin in June.
Work is expected to begin in June.

More than $2 million has been set aside in the Florida Department of Transportation’s fiscal year 2020 budget for an initial study of the Longboat Pass Bridge. A document produced by the FDOT Office of Work Program and Budget indicates $2.126 million will pay for a Project Development and Environment Study, to launch in early 2020. Such a study, which could take three years or more to complete, could result in a determination to proceed with replacement-bridge plans. A workshop and public hearing are planned in the new year, but no dates or locations have been established.

A PD&E study is typically a first step toward developing a notion of what kind of alternatives would be available for such a replacement pr

That $5.2 million bridge spruce up, which launched June 10, aims to add a decade or more of service to the 60-year-old drawbridge before state officials consider what to do in the long run.

Rick said the New Pass bridge project was planned and not the result of breakage or a failure. "This work is normal on a drawbridge over salt water and was planned as various components deteriorate,'' he said.

In a release, FDOT said the work will likely include travel lane shifts, reductions in travel lane width and closures between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. with no detour for intervals of 30 minutes or less.

Rick said there should be no concern about the work being done during hurricane season. 

"Any traffic restrictions are temporary and can be reopened quickly for any emergency or storm event,'' he said.  "The FDOT plans bridge work on the barrier islands in the slowest traffic season if at all possible as to not affect businesses, residents, and visitors."

If you have any questions about the project, please contact the project manager, Tara Rodrigues, P.E., at (813) 612-3381, by email to [email protected], by written correspondence to the Florida Department of Transportation, 2916 Leslie Road, Tampa or visit the project website at though the link “Future Projects” then “Sarasota” and finally “New Pass Draw Bridge Repair Project.”


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