Duck Key Bridge Updates

2/25 Update: The interim strengthening work on the Bimini Drive Bridge is progressing. The contractor has completed the demolition of a portion of the east bridge abutment and has installed rebar and forms in preparation for concrete pouring.   Demolition of part of the west abutment and rebar installation is in progress and the contractor expects to complete concrete installation next week.  Upon completion of the temporary strengthening work on the abutments, the contractor will fabricate and install the temporary supports for the bridge beams and deck.

AEB has submitted preliminary engineering plans and calculations for the interim projects on Harbor and Seaview bridges to the county’s engineer for review and approval. Due to challenges presented by the greater span length of both bridges the contractor is proposing to replace the existing concrete beams and deck with steel beams and a heavy timber deck rather than strengthen the existing concrete. The benefit of this approach will be the elimination of the weight restriction instead of keeping a 30-ton limit as was initially anticipated, as well as a reduction of future demolition costs when the full replacement of Harbor and Seaview bridges is undertaken. Coordination with utilities for relocations that will be needed has begun and communication with permitting agencies for the work at Harbor and Seaview is ongoing. 

Project staff is evaluating alternatives for placing warning signs near the Seaview Bridge to alert boaters of the closure at Bimini Bridge before they travel down the canal.

Traffic Update

American Empire Builders, Inc. has implemented the temporary one-lane/two-way traffic condition in accordance with Traffic Control Plans phase 1 at Bimini Bridge. Advanced Message Boards have been installed on-site. Traffic will remain on the existing south side of the bridge and will be controlled by a portable temporary signal 24 hours a day until the completion of this phase.

The Bimini Drive Bridge traffic signals are on a timer. All golf cart and pedestrian traffic are to obey the traffic signals in order to cross the bridge.

Utility Relocation - FKEC Work Status

Several new poles have been installed near the project area as well as underground contractor tasks are being completed that are required to be done prior to the new Bimini Drive Bridge.  

  • The temporary overhead tie line will be constructed Feb. 17-19, weather permitting.  
  • The associated system reconfigurations will follow, tentative to start Feb. 22.
  • Underground contractor work going on north of the bridge and on Vista lane for the next week or two.

 For questions, contact: Michael J Roberge, Director of Engineering, Florida Keys Electric Cooperative, Office: 305-852-1034, Cell: 231-675-8500. 

Aerial view of the Duck Key bridges and islands affected


The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) inspectors advised that three interior Duck Key bridges that affect Harbour Island, Plantation Island, and Yacht Club Island need to be replaced. 

Weight Restrictions

  • Bimini Drive Bridge: 10-ton weight limit
  • Harbour Drive Bridge: 4-ton weight limit
  • Seaview Bridge: 4-ton weight limit

The ratings for Harbour Drive and Seaview bridges are lower than the initial rapid analysis suggested. Signage has been replaced to notify residents and visitors of the change. County staff and design consultants are evaluating options to strengthen the two bridges for the interim period until the replacement of the bridges can take place. The County is providing weight certifications for Duck Key vehicles at the Long Key transfer station at no cost.

Marine Traffic Update: Bimini Bridge

The contractor has secured construction barges underneath the Bimini Drive bridge as of Jan. 21, 2021.  The barges will remain in place for the duration of the project and will block all marine traffic underneath the bridge until the anticipated project completion date of June 30, 2022. The contact person for the Construction Engineering and Inspection (CEI) consultant for this project can be submitted to keith.duke@wsp.com.

Timeline

The contractor is currently on-site working on the bridge strengthening phase of the Bimini Bridge with a tentative completion date of April 19, 2021. The date is subject to change and will be updated accordingly.

The strengthening of Harbour Drive and Seaview bridges will occur after the Bimini bridge strengthening is completed.

The design team has finalized the construction plans for the bridge strengthening at Bimini Bridge and is in the design phases for the temporary strengthening for Harbor and Seaview bridges. The design team has already begun coordinating with the Coast Guard for approval since the installation of beams will reduce the clearance under those bridges.

Permits

Active unexpired building permits affected by the weight limits on Bimini, Seaview, and Harbour Drive bridges will not be required to get inspections until 180 days after a solution for delivery of materials is available. If someone with an open permit is able to proceed by other means before that time, they may do so.

Emergency Services

Emergency services are not affected by the bridge weight limits.

Utilities

Residential gas/propane, electric, water, and sewer services are not affected by the bridge weight limits. 

Garbage Service Updates

Monroe County is working with Marathon Garbage Service to provide additional options and revised services since garbage trucks cannot cross the three affected bridges. A modified smaller garbage truck will continue to service the areas over the Bimini Bridge, but those on the other side of Harbour Drive and Seaview bridges will need to continue to use the temporary collection site located on Kingston Drive between Exuma Street and Nassau Street. The temporary collection site has dumpsters for household garbage, yard waste, and recycling. Dumpsters at the temporary site are appropriately marked. Bring all household garbage in garbage bags for disposal. (Please, no open container dumping). The site is monitored. 

  1. There will be an attendant on-site when the gates are open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  2. Anyone found or identified dumping outside of the gates, will be fined $500 for illegal dumping. (Signage is posted.)
  3. For normal bulk pick up items (appliances, furniture, mattresses), contact Marathon Garbage Service at 305-743-5165. (Signage is posted.)
  4. NO CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS OR CONSTRUCTION DEBRIS ALLOWED.
  5. The trash site is for “Harbour and Yacht Club Islands Only.” (Signage is posted and the site attendant has a listing of addresses and owner's names.)

If you have an extenuating circumstance regarding the ability to use the collection site or concerns, contact Monroe County Solid Waste Management at 305-292-4432 or Marathon Garbage Service at 305-743-5165 to discuss.

Background

The Bimini Bridge, constructed in 1955, was already scheduled for replacement. County staff accelerated the bidding process for the Bimini Bridge with an estimated contract period to complete the replacement is 18 months. The County approved a strengthening plan for the existing north lane of the Bimini Bridge. This will allow one lane of traffic to cross while the south side of the permanent bridge is being constructed. The strengthened section will allow Florida legal weight limits to cross without a reduced weight load. Bimini Bridge affects Harbour, Plantation, and Yacht Club islands and also connects to the Harbour Drive and Seaview bridges.