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Florida DOT making progress on Howard Frankland Bridge replacement

Veronica Brezina

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The Howard Frankland Bridge

The Florida Department of Transportation has wrapped up elements of the $865.3 million Howard Frankland Bridge replacement project. 

The bridge, which will open in late 2025, will have eight lanes with four general use lanes and two tolled express lanes in each direction. Once the new bridge is constructed, the existing bridge will be removed.

Today, traffic on the bridge has been shifted to the left to provide the contractor with a work zone on the current southbound bridge shoulder. 

The FDOT District 7 office provided information on the latest construction activities to the St. Pete Catalyst: 

  • Pile driving activities are occurring on both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties’ sides
  • Bridge foundation elements including footings, columns and caps are being built onsite
  • The bulkhead and the seawall work is underway on both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties’ causeways
  • Embankment, grading and roadway base placement is occurring for the new causeways
  • New right-of-way fencing is being installed

The project to replace the bridge must occur for safety reasons, according to FDOT, as the current bridge has outlived its lifespan, approximately 30 years.

The construction team for the bridge replacement is a joint venture between Atlanta-based contractor Archer Western Construction LLC, which is part of The Walsh Group, and the Evansville, Indiana-based civil group Traylor Bros. Inc.

Last year when traffic was nearly nonexistent due to stay-at-home orders caused by the pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the acceleration of several road projects, including the Howard Frankland Bridge

The order helped advance the start of the heavy construction by several months. 

The selected sail design. FDOT.

FDOT recently asked the public to weigh on a sail design element for the bridge. It would be located along the four scenic overlooks on the new bridge and in rest areas for pedestrians and bicyclists on the shared-use path.

In June, FDOT announced the classic Schooner sail design won the majority of votes. The design embodies the historic sailing ships and their lofty “flying jib” sails.

 

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