By Dorie Cox
Rehabilitation on a bridge across the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale should not disrupt marine traffic, according to members of Broward county’s public works department. Work started under and within the 37-year-old Andrews Avenue drawbridge in July and is scheduled to take about a year and a half to complete.
Marine traffic is expected to face limited disruption during the project, according to Anh Ton, director of Highway and Bridge Maintenance Division for Broward County in Pompano Beach, Florida.
“During the rehabilitation project, we expect the impact to vessel navigation to be minimal and the bridge will function in normal conditions during major events such as the Winterfest Boat Parade and the Fort Lauderdale [International] Boat Show,” Ton wrote in an email to The Triton.
In mid-2019, the bridge will be open to navigation as vehicle traffic will face a full closure for a 30-day period.
Broward County will fund most of the $8.1 million project that includes upgrades and improvements to the bridge and road across the waterway. County documents detail complete replacement of the bridge’s electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and emergency response systems; upgrades to the pedestrian ramps accessing the bridge; and required modifications and upgrades to the bridge tender house. The project also includes the installation of vehicle wheel paths to mitigate noise across the bridge deck, underdeck lighting, and roadway light posts.
The project is expected to have periodic lane closures during off-peak traffic hours and a 21-day notice for extended vehicle traffic lane closures.
The Andrews Avenue drawbridge was Florida’s first hydraulic movable bridge and the base of the single-leaf drawbridge is pink, a landmark to many navigators who visit shipyards and services at the west end of the river.
“For more than 114 years a bridge has connected Andrews Avenue north and south across the New River,” Ton wrote. “The rehabilitation of this bridge, which was built in 1981, will extend the life of the bridge and continue to serve as a vital link for the community,”
And no, the pink will not stay. Look for a new color, said Odette Reza Brown, public works department administrative officer with Broward County – “Belgian Waffle”.
For specific questions or concerns contact project manager Harry Diaz, P.E. Harry Diaz, PE public works department project manager II with Broward County at +1 954-577-4631, +1 954-931-9067 (cell) or at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Broward County Highway and Bridge Maintenance Division at +1 954-357-6040.