Governor Rick Scott today celebrated the kick off of construction for the new Pensacola Bay Bridge, the largest transportation infrastructure project in Northwest Florida history. The State of Florida is investing $398.5 million in the new bridge. The new bridge is expected to be completed in 2019 and will temporarily transition four lanes of traffic onto the structure. This will allow for demolition of the existing bridge and completion of the second and final bridge in 2020.
Governor Scott said, “I was proud to join Northwest Florida leaders and community members to celebrate the kick off of the new Pensacola Bay Bridge project today. 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. 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.”
The new bridge will consist of two parallel structures, each with three 12-foot travel lanes, two 10-foot shoulders, and a 10-foot multi-use path for pedestrians, joggers, and bicyclists.
The project’s design-build contractor, Skanska USA Civil Southeast, Inc., estimates they will directly employ more than 500 workers to construct the new bridge. Additionally, estimates from the University of West Florida’s Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development indicate the project will help create and sustain approximately 4,200 jobs in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, along with an additional 600 jobs throughout Florida.
Mike Dew, Florida Department of Transportation Secretary, said, “I thank Governor Scott, the Florida Legislature and local officials for making this vital investment for Northwest Florida families and businesses. Governor Scott’s policies have led an economic revival across the state. We are at a nearly 10-year-low in unemployment and we are seeing 1,000 people move to the state each day. That’s why our transportation improvements, like the new Pensacola Bay Bridge, are critical to meeting the challenges of growth.”