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DuPont Bridge to be rebuilt next year

By Cortney Evans,


BAY COUNTY, Fla. ( WMBB ) — The DuPont Bridge runs between Parker and Tyndall Air Force Base. It’s more than 60 years old and has been deemed structurally deficient.

“We inspect it every year, we give it a score and when that score shows that it becomes more costly to maintain a bridge than it does to replace it, then it goes on a list for replacement,” Florida Department of Transportation Spokesperson Ian Satter.

That’s where the DuPont Bridge is now, on the replacement list. The Florida Department of Transportation has secured the $248 million necessary to build a new bridge. They’ve already selected a new route, just south of the existing bridge but the new one will be better.

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The center span will rise 60 feet above the water, allowing more room for shipping traffic.

“Two new structures that will also feature sidewalks as part of that, as well as being more bicycle accessible, we will have two lanes in each direction, it will be wide enough to accommodate six lanes should the need arise,” Satter said.

When the preliminary work begins next May, drivers will not have to deal with any major traffic pattern changes.

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“We’ve got a process in place so at no time will traffic be prohibited in that area, we’ll be able to keep the same type of traffic flow moving through that area,” Satter said.

The work will begin about the same time the Tyndall Air Force Base rebuild will be in full swing. The bridge will be able to handle the base’s traffic needs for years to come. Designers are also taking safety into account.

“This project will bring a lot of safety features to the area along with having the wider lanes that will be available for drivers, that will reduce congestion and improve safety facilities being made available for pedestrians and bicycles will be able to use this bridge as well,” Satter said.

The public will have the chance to share their input on the bridge next summer before the first shovels hit the ground.

Once work begins, Satter said it will take about 3 years to complete the new DuPont Bridge project.

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