Hillsborough County has given the notice to start work on the re-building of the 84-year-old Platt Street Bridge in downtown Tampa. The drawbridge carries one-way eastbound traffic over the Hillsborough River out of South Tampa. The project is expected to be completed by Spring 2012. Drivers who use this bridge are encouraged to start identifying detour routes around the bridge, as the construction will cause delays.
The total budget for the project is $13.8 million, $11.4 million of which will be funded by Community Investment Tax proceeds. The remainder will come from a federal grant.
Starting in approximately two weeks, lane closures will begin on the bridge. The project will proceed in three phases:
- one lane will be closed for the first four months of the project on the north (left) side of the bridge with an additional intermittent lane closure as necessary.
- then, one lane will be closed on the south (right) side of the bridge for the following four months with an additional intermittent lane closure as necessary.
- lastly, in late summer or early fall, the bridge will close entirely for 105 days to allow the contractor to open the drawbridge and perform replacement work on its components.
The County will be placing variable message boards along Bayshore Boulevard to warn drivers of the expected delays on the bridge and to allow them to seek alternate detour routes.
The County will make every effort to ensure the bridge is re-opened within the 105-day time period, and has built stringent requirements into its contract with the contractor to ensure compliance. Also, additional intermittent lane closures will only be allowed from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
During this construction process, the sidewalks across the bridge will be closed on the following schedule:
- the sidewalk on the north side of the bridge will be closed for the first four months (but the sidewalk on the south side will still be open).
- then the sidewalk on the south side of the bridge will be closed for the next four months (but the sidewalk on the north side of the bridge will be open).
- lastly both sidewalks will be closed during the final 105 days of complete closure.
Additionally, during the entire construction project, the section of the riverwalk under the bridge will be closed. However, barring any unforeseen circumstances, the navigable waterway under the bridge will remain open during the project.
The complete rehabilitation of the bridge is required as it has outlived its normal useful life span, and needs to be upgraded to current standards. When the work is completed, the bridge will be restored to its original functionality and historical appearance.
If residents have any questions or concerns about this project, they can call the Hillsborough County Public Works Department at (813) 272-5275.