In 2016, an independent study prioritized the bridges within the city of St. Petersburg for replacement over a 10-year period. At that time, the 40th Avenue Bridge – based on routine inspections – was not ranked in need of complete replacement. However, the bridge was in need of routine maintenance. It was also in need of being raised, according to a growing number of area residents and boaters who organized the “Raze and Raise” the bridge initiative.
In August 2017, concrete repairs were underway and while removing loose concrete, the extensive corrosion of the reinforcing strands in the underside of the bridge center was discovered. At that time, the bridge was temporarily closed and re-inspected.
Based on the inspection findings, it was determined that the bridge could be safely reopened if traffic modifications were made to take traffic off of the center of the bridge. These modifications included shifting vehicular traffic from the center of the bridge where the corrosion occurred to the outermost edges, reducing travel speed and increasing weight restrictions. These modifications are daily reminders that this bridge is due for a much-needed replacement.
The city is moving in that direction.
A design phase was begun in the spring of 2018 and expected to take 18 to 24 months. Officials said they expect the project to go out for bids in the spring of 2020 with construction to begin in the fall.
From design to completion, the project is expected to cost about $9.64 million. Funds for the construction will include monies from the Penny for Pinellas.
For information about the project, go to 40thavenuebridge.com.
Photo of 40th Avenue NE Bridge courtesy of the city of St. Petersburg.
40th Avenue Bridge | Road Work | Road Construction | Tampabay News
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