Construction of Northwest Florida’s largest transportation infrastructure project, the Pensacola Bay Bridge, has begun. Gov. Rick Scott recently kicked off the project with a ceremony at the site.
The project, set to open to traffic in 2019, includes $398.5 million in state investments. The structure will allow traffic to temporarily transition to four lanes to allow for the demolition of the existing bridge, and the second and final bridge will be complete in 2020.
“This investment will help increase safety and efficiency for the many families and visitors that travel through this beautiful community each day and will also help support the creation of thousands of jobs,” says Scott. “Thanks to our commitment to making record transportation investments, critical projects like the Pensacola Bay Bridge replacement will help ensure Florida’s transportation infrastructure remains a national leader for generations to come.”
Officials report the two bridges will have three 12-foot travel lanes, two 10-foot shoulders and a 10-foot multi-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Design-build contractor Skanska USA Civil Southeast says construction of the project may directly employ more than 500. The University of West Florida’s Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development also estimates the project could help “create and sustain approximately 4,200 jobs in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, along with an additional 600 jobs throughout Florida.”