PENSACOLA, Fla. – Excitement is building in the community as the Pensacola Bay Bridge Replacement project in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties continues to reach new milestones. Currently, the bridge project is estimated to be completed in late summer or early fall.
Here is an aerial photograph taken in late February of the Pensacola Bay Bridge project.
Here’s an aerial photograph of Pensacola Bay Bridge construction. Crews are continuing to set trophy pieces and beams, and pour concrete bridge decks for the new westbound (Gulf Breeze to Pensacola) bridge. This photo shows the roundabout and flyover complete at 17th Avenue, the bridge approach nearing completion, and bridge decks going in near the main navigational channel and the Pensacola approach. (Florida Department of Transportation)
Here is a look at the Pensacola Bay Bridge project from the water. In this picture, crews are setting one of the 416 trophy pieces needed for the project. There are approximately 20 trophy pieces left to set for the new westbound (Gulf Breeze to Pensacola) bridge. (Florida Department of Transportation)
This is an aerial photograph of the Gulf Breeze approach to the Pensacola Bay Bridge. Crews are working on sidewalk and curb improvements under the bridge near the wayside park. As part of the bridge construction, a new and expanded recreation area is planned for this location. The new bridge will be elevated (as seen in this picture) to allow for parking beneath, and to permit cars to pass from the east to west side without having to re-enter U.S. 98 traffic. (Florida Department of Transportation)
Here is an aerial of the Pensacola Bay Bridge project taken in early March before the westbound arch was installed. Much of the current construction activity is happening near the main navigational channel and moving west toward the Pensacola shore. This spring, crews hope to complete pile driving operations. They also continue setting beams (or girders) and trophy pieces for the new westbound (Gulf Breeze to Pensacola) bridge. Only 9% (or 36) of the 400 trophy pieces needed for the bridge are left to install. The bridge remains an active construction zone. Please drive safely as you cross it. (Florida Department of Transportation)
Here is a closer view of the Pensacola Bay Bridge project as crews install the arch on the new westbound (Gulf Breeze to Pensacola) bridge. In this picture, the team is carefully securing the arch to the base as a crane positions the arch into place. The two arches adjacent to the eastbound and westbound bridges will be an architectural distinction for the project and provide structural support for the 10-foot-wide multiuse path adjacent to the bridge. (Florida Department of Transportation)
Here are some fun facts about the arch: • Each arch weighs 800,000 pounds. (The Statue of Liberty weighs 450,000-pounds.) • The arch is 83-feet tall. (That’s as tall as an eight-story building.) • The arch is 375-feet long. (About the same length from home plate to the outfield wall in baseball.) Each arch consists of structural steel plates that were cut to shape and welded together. The strands that extend from the top of the arch to the bottom deck are made of high-strength steel and covered by a protective sheath.
The Pensacola Bay Bridge construction team reached a major project milestone in March as the arch was erected on the westbound (Gulf Breeze to Pensacola) bridge. (Florida Department of Transportation)
Here is an aerial photograph of downtown Pensacola taken in 1953. This was seven years before Florida Governor Leroy Collins cut the ribbon for the four-lane Pensacola Bay Bridge that was taken out of service in 2019. Visible at the bottom of the photo is the Bayfront Auditorium (which was under construction at the time). And here’s a fun fact, three years after this photo was taken, Elvis Presley played at the new auditorium. Now, downtown Pensacola looks a lot different with Plaza de Luna, fishing areas, pier, promenades and public green spaces, a baseball stadium, new buildings, and soon a new six-lane bridge connecting Pensacola to Gulf Breeze. (State Archives of Florida)