BY MARIE PULEO | POMPANO BEACH NEWS REPORTER
The 14th Street Causeway Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway in Pompano Beach will be undergoing routine maintenance and repairs, scheduled to start in early October, which will affect vehicle and boat traffic. The project is being carried out by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
Lane closures on the bridge will occur daily at any time during work shifts, whether day or night, for the duration of the project, according to Ricardo Baraybar, the senior project engineer. The project is expected to be completed in spring 2022, depending on the weather and holidays.
Except for four consecutive weekends when the bridge will be entirely closed, one lane in each direction will remain open for traffic at all times. Pedestrians will be able to use the one sidewalk that remains open and bicyclists will be able to use the one vehicle lane that remains open.
The four consecutive weekends that the bridge will be completely closed are currently anticipated to be from mid-January to mid-February, depending on the weather. During these four weekends, full bridge closures will occur from 11pm Friday to 8am Monday. During these full closures, traffic will be detoured to the bridge on Atlantic Boulevard in Pompano Beach and the bridge on Hillsboro Boulevard in Deerfield Beach. Access to properties east and west of the 14th Street Causeway Bridge will be maintained, including access to the Alsdorf Park public boat launch.
One-month advance notice will be given for the four full bridge closures, and message boards with provide the exact dates. There will be no disruption to emergency services during the full bridge closures.
During the project, one span of the bridge will open every 30 minutes for smaller boats. Larger boats will need to contact the construction contractor two hours in advance to arrange a full bridge opening. The contractor’s contact details will be provided in the Local Notice to Mariners for United States Coast Guard (USCG) 7th District published on the USCG website (navcen.uscg.gov).
The contractor is scheduled to mobilize on site the week of Oct. 7, and then start work shortly after. Currently, some maintenance work is being done to the bridge in preparation of the project.
The project will include painting the steel and concrete portions of the bridge and refurbishing the span locks and other mechanical components of the bridge. Repairing the span locks will help reduce the noise that occurs when vehicles pass over the bridge, said Baraybar.
The work zone above and below the bridge deck will be completely sealed with tarps to prevent paint materials and dust from entering the air and waterway, and to aid in noise control. Air quality monitors will measure dust levels in the surrounding air to ensure they are properly controlled.
Only select areas of old paint will be removed, and hand tools will be used, not sandblasting, so dust will be minimal, said Baraybar. Spray painting will be limited; the majority of painting will be done with rollers and brushes.
The bridge will be pressure washed and repainted in the same colors. The steel will get four coats of paint, which protects it from rust, and the concrete will get two coats.
Baraybar noted that the work is taking place during high season because it is a period when there is less rain and humidity, which is a favorable condition for painting.
The current estimated cost of the project is $1.07 million.
The last time the bridge was painted and repaired was in 2007. The cycle for routine maintenance on draw bridges is 10 to 15 years, said Baraybar.
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