Florida New I-10 Bridge Opens to Traffic
Longmont, United States of America – Florida Governor Jeb Bush and U.S. DOT Secretary Mary Peters cut the ribbon to officially open the new eastbound I-10 bridge to traffic on December 19, 2006.
The design-build team of Flatiron Constructors and Tidewater Skanska, after weeks of working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, opened the new eastbound I-10 Bridge over Escambia Bay to traffic on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 — eleven days before the deadline. Flatiron and Tidewater employees joined state representatives and local residents on the bridge to celebrate the grand opening during a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“This new replacement bridge is a great example of a public-private partnership at its finest,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Denver Stutler. Other speakers included Florida Governor Jeb Bush, U.S. DOT Secretary Mary Peters, and Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Craig Fugate.
Excited residents lined up along Scenic Drive to witness the first cars, led by two police cruisers, cross the new bridge. Traffic was re-routed over the new bridge through a series of traffic switches that began at 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday. By Wednesday afternoon, all four lanes of traffic (two in each direction) had been successfully re-routed onto the new bridge.
Hurricane Ivan severely damaged the I-10 bridges on September 16, 2004. The Florida Department of Transportation made the bridge replacement a top priority and awarded the design-build contract to the joint venture team of Flatiron Constructors and Tidewater Skanska.
The final bridges will have three lanes of traffic in each direction and two ten-foot-wide shoulders. The new westbound bridge is scheduled to be open in November 2007.