The Pensacola Bay Bridge replacement project reached a construction milestone this past week as crews drove the final concrete piling for the new eastbound (Pensacola to Gulf Breeze) bridge. The 1,062 piles for the eastbound bridge range in length from 120 to 210 feet and weigh as much as 190,000 pounds. Crews have driven the piles to depths averaging 80 to 100 feet into the bay floor.In addition, more than one-third of the piles needed for the new westbound (Gulf Breeze to Pensacola) bridge have been driven. Plans are to complete the new eastbound structure early next year and temporarily configure it for four travel lanes, separated by an auxiliary lane for emergency vehicles. Crews will then demolish the current bridge and complete the new westbound structure.
When completed the new Pensacola Bay Bridge will accommodate three east and three westbound travel lanes, 10-foot inside and outside shoulders, and 10-foot multi-use paths for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The pilings and other concrete components for the new bridge are fabricated at a casting yard on Bayou Chico and transported to the construction site by barge. They are driven using barge mounted cranes equipped with 22,000-pound diesel powered hammers. Bridge construction is currently estimated for completion in late 2020.
All construction activities are weather dependent and may be delayed or rescheduled in the event of inclement weather. Drivers are reminded to use caution, especially at night, when traveling through a work zone and to watch for construction workers and equipment entering and exiting the roadway.