LONGBOAT KEY (WWSB) - In just a few weeks, the Longboat Pass bridge will have nearly 4 million dollars in much needed repairs done. Charter boat Captain Casey Lamb cruises under the bridge often, telling us he sees a lot of stuff that motorists going over the bridge don’t see.
“Lot of erosion, lot of rust through the concrete spans and certainly needing some love,” said Lamb.
The Florida Department of Transportation says crews will repair the rusted steel and grid deck on the movable span, as well as concrete beams, concrete deck, sidewalk and railings. In addition they will install bridge erosion protection and fix the machinery and electrical system on the movable span. Some residents say they’ve noticed chunks of concrete missing but don’t see any structural issues with the bridge. Dan Madole has lived in the northern section of Longboat Key for around 5 years. He uses this bridge a few times a day.
“Our access to all of the day to day things is much easier to this end then it is going all the way down to Sarasota,” said Madole.
This bridge is one of two ways to get onto Longboat Key and it connects the island to Anna Maria Island. FDOT officials tell us even though the bridge is still safe to use, it is now beyond the 50 year design life and this work will give it renewed life for many years to come. Most of the work will be done in the late night and overnight hours to minimize delays.
“It’s a necessary inconvenience that we’ll all get through,” said Lamb.
Work is expected to get underway on June 10th and be finished sometime this fall.