The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) inspectors advised that three interior Duck Key bridges that affect Harbour Island, Plantation Island, and Yacht Club Island are deteriorating faster than anticipated.
Based on the results from the detailed analysis from FDOT, the following weight restrictions have been issued:
Bimini Bridge: 10-ton weight limit
Harbour Drive and Seaview bridges: 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.
The Bimini Bridge, constructed in 1955, was already scheduled for replacement. County staff accelerated the bidding process for the Bimini Bridge with bids due Nov. 24, 2020. The estimated contract period to complete the replacement is 18 months. The County approved a temporary one-lane bridge on the north side of the Bimini Bridge while the replacement is constructed. The temporary bridge will allow Florida legal weight limits to cross without a reduced weight load. Bimini Bridge affects Harbour, Plantation, and Yacht Club islands.
Residents of Duck Key are invited to an upcoming virtual Zoom webinar neighborhood public meeting on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m. The meeting will include an overview of the Bimini Drive Bridge replacement project. Consultants from the project as well as Monroe County engineering and project management staff will be available to answer questions the public may have. Commissioner David Rice will also be in attendance.
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Timeline for Strengthening
The strengthening of Harbour Drive and Seaview bridges would occur after (or potentially during) the installation of the temporary bridge at Bimini Bridge. The County will ask the contractor who is awarded the Bimini Bridge Replacement project to mobilize no later than January 1, 2021. The estimate for demolition and installation of the temporary bridge at Bimini will take 8-9 weeks with a tentative completion by end of February. Depending on the number of personnel that the contractor has, they may be able to start a strengthening project on the other bridge(s) at the same time as the temporary construction at Bimini. The County will know more after opening the bids.
The design team is finalizing the construction plans for the temporary bridge installation at Bimini and will immediately turn to begin the temporary strengthening design 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.
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 are not affected by the bridge weight limits.
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.
Beginning at 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 19 the gates will be locked and will reopen at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 22, and follow the schedule as posted on the signs of Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gates will be open on Thursday, December 24.
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.
Anyone found or identified dumping outside of the gates, will be fined $500 for illegal dumping. (Signage is posted.)
For normal bulk pick up items (appliances, furniture, mattresses), contact Marathon Garbage Service at 305-743-5165. (Signage is posted.)
NO CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS OR CONSTRUCTION DEBRIS ALLOWED.
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.