Design firm selected for 40th Avenue Bridge Project
St. Petersburg, Fla. (January 23, 2018) – Final selection of the design firm to shepherd the important 40th Avenue Bridge replacement project has been made. The city selection committee has chosen Cardno, Inc. – a worldwide engineering firm with local offices in the Tampa Bay area – to facilitate Public Outreach and engagement, produce renderings and concepts, and finalize design elements to best serve the needs of drivers, boaters and neighbors of the span that crosses Smack’s Bayou.
“This is an important project,” said Brejesh Prayman, Director of Engineering and Capital Improvements for the City of St. Petersburg, following the selection.
Once contract elements are finalized, the design team will begin with a period of Public Outreach and fact-finding. Making sure that all voices in the community are heard is one of the most important steps in the process.
The bridge – which connects the Northeast Park and Shore Acres neighborhoods – has been the focus of community conversation for some time. Discovery of structural deficiencies in August, 2017 forced the city to close the bridge for two weeks. Reducing weight limits, temporary modification of the traffic flow to outside lanes and slowing of the speed limit on the bridge have been implemented in an effort to keep the important artery open as plans for its repair and replacement moving forward.
While the design firm presented proposals for raising the roadbed and re-configuration of traffic lanes as part of its application, city engineers want to make it clear that nothing has been finalized – and that this type of selection process is based on the most qualified firm.
“We want to make sure all stakeholders are represented in the design and building of the bridge,” said Mr. Prayman. He added that the outreach will include public meetings, workshops and continued updates on City websites and social media through the design and construction process.
While specific timeline dates have not been finalized, the initial public sessions are expected to begin in late Spring or early Summer of 2018.
The funding for this work is provided primarily by the “Penny for Pinellas” one-cent sales tax as a long-term capital infrastructure project. The city is also working with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to assist in funding, and with Mayor Kriseman’s support – along with that of state Senator Jeff Brandes and Representative Ben Diamond – additional support from the Florida Legislature will also be sought.