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Work set to begin on Tom’s Bayou Bridge reconstruction [MAP, DRAWINGS]

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The Tom’s Bayou Bridge reconstruction project will replace the structurally deficient northbound bridge with a two-lane structure, adding an eight-foot outside shoulder and five-foot sidewalk. The southbound bridge will remain and be widened to accommodate an eight-foot outside shoulder and five-foot sidewalk.

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Work is scheduled to begin November 5 on the Tom’s Bayou Bridge reconstruction project in Valparaiso. The $8.5 million project is estimated to take two years or more to complete.

The four-lane, double-spanned bridge, originally built in 1954, is part of John Sims Parkway where it crosses Tom’s Bayou, about one mile north of the East Gate at Eglin Air Force Base.

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The Tom’s Bayou Bridge reconstruction project will begin Nov. 5, 2018. If all goes as planned, the $8.5 million project will be completed by late fall 2020.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation, the Tom’s Bayou Bridge reconstruction project will replace the structurally deficient northbound bridge with a two-lane structure, adding an eight-foot outside shoulder and five-foot sidewalk. The southbound bridge will remain and be widened to accommodate an eight-foot outside shoulder and five-foot sidewalk.

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The project will replace the structurally deficient northbound bridge with a two-lane structure, adding an 8-foot outside shoulder and 5-foot sidewalk. The southbound bridge will remain and be widened to accommodate an 8-foot outside shoulder and 5-foot sidewalk.

During the project’s second phase—which is several months from now—the northbound span will be demolished.

Three lanes of traffic will be open on the southern span during phase two where the center section of the newly widened southern span will be used to allow two southbound lanes toward the East Gate during the morning hours, and then be changed to allow for two northbound lanes during the afternoon and evening drive time hours.

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The center section of the widened southbound span will become a “reversible lane” during the second phase of the project. The reversible lane will be used to open two southbound lanes toward Eglin Air Force Base in the morning hours and two northbound lanes during the afternoon/evening drive-time hours. The second phase is several months off.

Additionally, motorists should expect periodic nighttime lane closures and shifts in traffic during the project.

The project is expected to be completed by late fall 2020 if all goes according to plans.

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