Sarasota Memorial Hospital adds new connector bridge

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- If you were driving down Fruitville Road or near Sarasota Memorial Hospital last Wednesday night, you might have witnessed a very special delivery: A 73–foot long, 25,400 pound prefabricated pedestrian bridge arrived by police escort.

The aluminum connector bridge was assembled at the Mullet's Aluminum facility on Ponder Avenue in east Sarasota County, then transported by a heavy haul expert down Fruitville Road and Tamiami Trail to the hospital's main campus. A work crew spent several hours placing the connector bridge between the hospital's South Parking Garage and Medical Arts Building near the 1900 block of Arlington Street and Laurent Avenue. Adjacent roads were closed during the placement, but reopened by 6 a.m. Thursday morning.

Work will continue on the bridge for the next several weeks. Although there may be periodic lane closures, there are no daytime road closures planned and the construction will not impact the hospital's Emergency Care Center on Arlington or impede emergency rescue vehicles. The South Garage also will remain open 24/7.