Friday morning, as traffic whizzed by at 50 mph on U.S. 1, Monroe County Mayor
Pro Tem David Rice and County Administrator Roman Gastesi used big red scissors
to cut a ceremonial ribbon and officially open the new pedestrian bridge over
Marvin Adams Waterway.
Among the attendees to
witness the official opening of the bridge at mile marker 103.7 were several walkers,
joggers and bicyclists. They all gave the new 125-foot-long, 11.5-foot wide
bridge rave reviews.
“We are so happy this bridge is
done,” said Key Largo resident Marty Fritch, who was out for a morning bicycle
ride with her husband, Don. “It always felt so dangerous riding over the bridge
on U.S. 1, especially in the turn lane. This makes it really safe.”
The bridge completes the U.S.
1 Shared-Use Path, which runs from about mile marker 100 to 106 on the bayside.
“This is beyond our dreams how the path and now this bridge all came together,”
Key Largo resident Dottie Moses said. “I bike it every day. … It is one of the
nicest thing we’ve ever seen in Key Largo.”
The pedestrian bridge cost
$985,000. A Florida Depart of Transportation (FDOT) Transportation Alternatives
Program (TAP) grant funded $475,000 of the project. The rest of the funding
came from Impact fees and Monroe County’s one-cent infrastructure sales tax
“I really believe that Monroe
County government tries to give our communities what we can,” Rice said. “When
you identify a need, we take it seriously. It may take a while to deliver it,
but this is a good example of an important need that we were able to meet.”
was a team effort to complete the bridge, which required the installation by cranes of two 120-foot
concrete I beams over the waterway. The
general contractor was Douglas N. Higgins. The construction, engineering and inspection
(CEI) firm was Parson Brinckerhoff.
Also attending the
ribbon-cutting: Barbara Espino, FDOT District Construction Manager; Pom
Chakkaphak, Sr. Project Manager with Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc.; Jordan
Salinger, Contract Support Specialist with Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc.; Judy
Clarke, Monroe County Director of Engineering and Roads, Debra London, Monroe
County Engineering Project Manager, Kevin Wilson, Monroe County Assistant
County Administrator; and John Glista, Monroe County Upper Keys Supervisor of
Roads & Bridges.