St. Petersburg, Fla. (October 27, 2017) – A new bridge connecting the neighborhoods of Northeast Park and Shore Acres is on the way. This new span over Smacks Bayou would replace the existing 40th Avenue Bridge, which was closed for a period of time in August, and has been re-configured with reduced two-way traffic ever since.
The City of St. Petersburg is moving forward with the selection of an engineering firm to develop a basis of design to determine the overall requirements for this bridge. This is the initial part of the process — which will include public input and collaboration – to determine the scope and requirements of the project.
“Public safety and fiscal responsibility for our residents is why we are seeking a more permanent solution,” said Director of Engineering and Capital Improvements Brejesh Prayman.
Based on the current information and latest inspections of the structure (built in 1960 and widened in 1991), it is clear that repairs to the span to bring it to full capacity would still ultimately require additional funding in the near future for other major maintenance items without a substantial increase in service life. The bridge – with its current modification of traffic pattern – will be in operation until the replacement bridge construction is completed.
The funding for this work is provided primarily by the “Penny for Pinellas” one-cent sales tax – should voters choose to approve it November 7 – as a long-term capital infrastructure project. The city is currently 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 – additional support from the Florida Legislature will also be sought.