Pensacola Bay Bridge Repairs to Take 6 Months

Oct. 5, 2020

Repairs to the Pensacola Bay Bridge are expected to take six months, the Florida Department of Transportation announced Thursday. Once repairs are complete, all four bridge lanes will be open with no load restrictions and at the same condition as expected for new construction, FDOT said in a news release. 

The bridge was damaged in mid-September when construction barges broke loose during Hurricane Sally and crashed into the structure. The bridge has been closed for more than two weeks, according to Pensacola News Journal. Drivers are currently being detoured to the Garcon Point Bridge, which is adding anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes to their daily commutes. The forced detour is also having a huge financial impact for Gulf Breeze businesses that rely on daily thru-traffic.

Since the wreckage occurred, business has slowed for Pensacola Beach small businesses. To help mitigate the losses, the community will host a benefit market on October 25. 

"If nothing else, how can we help mitigate some of the loss that those places are going to suffer?," said DC Reeves, chief entrepreneurial officer for the Studer Community Institute and owner of Perfect Plain Brewery. "So I came up with the idea of, 'Could we have, basically, a market for the Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach businesses to come sell their items in downtown Pensacola?'"

Reeves said he's heard mostly from small retail shops that rely on the bridge traffic to support themselves, as well as from restaurants.