Duck Key Bridge Updates

11/18 Update: American Empire Builders (AEB) has removed the riprap and embankment on the south side of the Bimini Drive Bridge in preparation for installing the sheet pile wall. The contractor is laying out and preparing the location of the sheet piles and will begin installation this week. He anticipates the completion of both sides within two weeks. Vibration monitoring equipment is installed, and monitoring will occur during the work, as required by the project specifications.  

FKAA’s pipeline contractor completed the installation and pressure testing of the lines on the Bimini Drive Bridge and is waiting for approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection before performing the final tie-in of the lines.      

The contractor has removed the concrete deck and railings from the north lane of the Seaview Drive Bridge and is constructing the concrete gravity wall on both ends within the approach roadway. He anticipates cutting and removing the concrete beams next week. The south lane is open with allowable loads at the Florida Legal Limit.    

Harbour Drive Bridge is open with reduced weight restrictions -- lifted on Nov. 10. Traffic is alternating on the strengthened east lane, and the allowable weight is the Florida Legal Loads. AEB removed the asphalt deck and is saw cutting and removing the concrete bridge deck on the west lane. The contractor will construct the concrete gravity wall at both ends of the bridge before cutting and removing the concrete beams.   

Due to the width and geometry of the strengthened lanes on Harbour and Seaview Drive bridges, there is a restriction for tractor-trailers. This restriction will be lifted when Phase II, reconstruction of the second lane on both bridges, is complete.

11/10 Update: The strengthened lane on Harbour Drive Bridge on Duck Key is complete and is open for traffic. The traffic is alternating two-way traffic over the one strengthened lane, and the reduced weight limit has been removed. The allowable weight is the Florida Legal Loads. Regular garbage service will resume.

11/4 Update: American Empire Builders (AEB) has completed the temporary critical wall adjacent to the west end of the Bimini Drive Bridge and demolished the west end of the bridge to prepare for installing the sheet pile wall. The contractor plans to begin installing the sheet pile wall along the canal under the south side of the bridge during the week of Nov. 8 and anticipates completing both sides within two weeks. Vibration monitoring equipment is installed, and monitoring will occur during the work, as required by the project specifications.   

FKAA’s pipeline contractor completed the installation and pressure testing of the lines on the Bimini Drive Bridge and is waiting for approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection before performing the final tie-in of the lines.      

The contractor completed construction of the south lane of the Seaview Drive Bridge and opened it for traffic on Oct. 29; allowable loads are the Florida Legal Loads. AEB began demolition of the north lane of the Seaview Bridge.   

AEB is installing the railings on the Harbour Drive Bridge; work should be completed the week of Nov. 8. Once the railing is installed, the traffic will be shifted to the east lane, and the reduced weight limits will be removed on the Harbour Drive Bridge as well. This is anticipated to occur the week of Nov. 15.

10/28 Update: The four-ton weight restriction on Seaview Bridge was lifted as of this morning. Regular Florida Legal Load now applies to that bridge.

10/27 Update: American Empire Builders (AEB) installed piles and constructed the temporary critical wall adjacent to the west end of the Bimini Drive Bridge; the demolition of the west end of the bridge is 50 percent complete and is scheduled to be completed by Friday, Oct. 29. The contractor anticipates installing the sheet pile wall along the canal under the south side of the bridge over the next two weeks. Vibration monitoring equipment is installed, and monitoring will occur during the work, as required by the project specifications.  

FKAA’s pipeline contractor completed the installation and pressure testing of the lines on the Bimini Drive Bridge and is waiting for approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection before performing the final tie-in of the lines.

The contractor installed the timber deck on the south lane of the Seaview Drive Bridge and retrofitted the guardrail on the approach road. Additional posts are being added to the bridge railing to ensure that it meets design guidelines before opening the south lane to traffic, which is anticipated to occur on Thursday, Oct. 28. When traffic is shifted to the south lane, the weight limit will be restored to the Florida Legal Loads, and the contractor will begin demolition and reconstruction of the north lane of the bridge.

The steel beams and wood deck have been installed on the east lane of the Harbour Drive Bridge. The contractor is fabricating the bridge railing. Once the railing is installed, the traffic will shift to the east lane and the reduced weight limits will be removed on the Harbour Drive Bridge. This is anticipated to occur the week of Nov. 15.

10/8 Update: FKAA’s pipeline contractor has installed the structures at the east and west ends of the Bimini Bridge and is in the process of pressure testing the lines; upon completion of the testing they will perform the final tie-in of the lines. 

American Empire Builders (AEB) is preparing to install the sheet pile wall along the canal under the south side of the bridge once the pipeline contractor is demobilized. Layout, pre-drilling, and installation should take approximately two weeks. Vibration monitoring equipment has been installed and monitoring will occur during the work, as required by the project specifications.  

AEB will begin the installation of Temporary Critical Wall 5 as soon as FKAA completes the final tie-in. This will allow AEB to begin partial demolition of the west end of the south side of the Bimini Drive Bridge.

The contractor has installed the timber deck on the south lane of the Seaview Drive Bridge and is installing new railings on the south side of the bridge. AEB will retrofit the guardrail on the approach road, which is necessary to re-align it with the new, temporary bridge when they have completed the bridge railing. Upon completion of the deck and railing, the traffic will be shifted over to the newly constructed south lane and Phase II demolition/reconstruction of the north lane will commence.

The concrete beams on the Harbor Drive bridge have been removed and the new steel beams have been installed on the east side of the bridge. The contractor is welding the beams and the diaphragms in preparation for installing the timber deck.

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

As of Nov. 18, 2021, there are no longer weight restrictions on any of the Duck Key bridges. Florida Legal loads can cross. 

Due to the width and geometry of the strengthened lanes on Harbour and Seaview Drive bridges, there is a restriction for tractor-trailers. This restriction will be lifted when Phase II, reconstruction of the second lane on both bridges, is complete.

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 date is subject to change and will be updated accordingly.

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. The completed bridges will be at the same height as the original 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.

Garbage Service Updates

Garbage service is no longer affected by bridgework. Contact Monroe County Solid Waste Management at 305-292-4432 or Marathon Garbage Service at 305-743-5165 for additional information. 

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.