40th Avenue Bridge closed for emergency repairs
St. Petersburg Fla. (August 11, 2017) – Following independent inspection of the structural integrity of the 40th Avenue Bridge, the span which connects the neighborhoods of Northeast Park and Shore Acres will be closed to traffic for approximately two weeks to initiate emergency repairs.
At the request of the City of St. Petersburg, consultants performed a field review of the bridge Thursday August 10, 2017. At that time, inspectors noted an accelerated deterioration of supporting strands as loose concrete covering them was removed. The concern of the consultants was relayed to city engineering personnel, who made the immediate decision to close the bridge and commence emergency repairs.
“This is something that we felt we needed to do,“ said Director of Engineering and Capital Improvement Projects Brejesh Prayman. “Right now.”
The original center parts of the bridge appear to be the most at-risk, according to the consultant’s report. Engineers are examining the possibility that traffic can be re-routed to the structurally sound edges sides of the span while contractors complete the needed emergency repairs and replacement of the interior bridge portions. Re-routing of the vehicular traffic will happen first – and will likely force the closure of pedestrian walkways for a longer period of time.
In the interim, traffic will need to use the Snell Isle Boulevard NE Bridge just to the south of the closure onto the island or – from the north -- use the Bayou Grande Boulevard access from 62nd Avenue N.
“We realize that this emergency closure and repair process is an inconvenience,” said Prayman. “But the safety of our residents is of the utmost importance.”
UPDATE -- August 14, 2017
While the waters beneath the span remain open to boat traffic, the main link between the Northeast Park and Shore Acres neighborhoods is still a no-go for vehicular traffic.
Concrete cutting crews were on the job early Monday morning to remove the barriers that separate the roadway and pedestrian walkways on the north side of the bridge while cyclists and pedestrians can still use the southernmost walkway.
Plans -- as of now -- are to remove these barriers and relocate the utilities that are inside. A single lane of traffic is then expected to have LOCAL access along the edge of the bridge in a one-way pattern with flag or traffic lighting controls in place – hopefully by the end of this week.
UPDATE -- August 15, 2017
Crews have begun removing the Jersey barriers along the pedestrian lanes of the 40th Avenue Bridge. While this work was initially anticipated to create a single lane operating in a "one-way" pattern, it appears now that the private utilities' participation and cooperation in the efforts may lead to limited two-way traffic by this time next week.
As of this point, the bridge remains closed to vehicular traffic so that work on "both sides" can commence and be completed as quickly as possible. The repair work on the center sections of the span will be initiated as soon as the modification of traffic can be completed.
UPDATE -- August 16, 2017
Work on the rerouting of vehicular traffic is continuing on the 40th Avenue Bridge connecting Shore Acres and Northeast Park. The northernmost Jersey barrier has been removed and utility lines have been relocated, allowing for paving of a new travel lane on the outermost edge of the span.
Crews from Duke Energy are expected to remove the southernmost Jersey barrier and relocate power lines today and tomorrow.
With that work completed, traffic engineers will reroute an additional travel lane along the southern edge of the span, creating two way traffic across the bridge by early next week.
We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.