The brand new bridge to Key West is nearing completion

The Cow Key Bridge overhaul began in March when the COVID pandemic virtually disrupted tourism, schools, and traffic in the Florida Keys.

The timeframe provided a silver lining for the coronavirus shutdown as expected traffic nightmares were not an issue while visitors were prevented from entering the chain of islands.

The traffic delays began when the Keys reopened to tourists on June 1, but were still a much less of a problem than expected prior to the pandemic.

The Florida Department of Transportation is managing and funding $ 6.2 million repairs and replacements of the bridge separating Key West from neighboring Stock Island.

According to the FDOT update from August 29th, the project is now in the second and final phase. The work is expected to be completed “by the end of 2020”.

“The crews have successfully cast and completed the new bridge deck,” says the update. “Bridge barrier walls and rails are scheduled to be completed in the coming month, although the schedule may change due to inclement weather or other unexpected conditions.”

FDOT officials also notify seafarers of ship access under the bridge.

“The construction workers work in the water and overhead,” says the update. “The bridge spans 2, 3 and 4 are blocked by barges. For the safety of seafarers and the construction team, seafarers should use other spans for passage or consider an alternative route. Please be careful and pay close attention to the signs of the no-wake zone. “.

For more information, contact the US Coast Guard Key West Sector at 305-292-8727.

The diagram shows the closure of the sidewalk for bicycles and pedestrians during the current construction phase. FDOT / Contributed

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