Hart Bridge Ramps Realignment Project Completion Pushed Back To Summer 2022
Finishing the road work that started with demolishing the elevated expressway next to the Hart Bridge and Metropolitan Park will cost more and take longer than originally anticipated.
The city’s Public Affairs Media Department told WJCT News the Hart Bridge Realignment project is now expected to be completed in the summer of 2022 and cost an additional $1.7 million.
The project's original contract was $25,456,249; with an original completion date of February 2022.
As the ramps and expressway were taken down, workers encountered buried obstructions, contamination and some previously unknown drainage underground that has added to the cost and complexity of the project.
In addition to the demolition of the ramps, the under-bridge parking areas have been removed and utilities have been relocated. Installation of the new roadway’s drainage system is also underway.
The pilings for the new East and West Hart Bridge spans that will connect Gator Bowl Boulevard have also been put in place. Construction on the east end’s retaining wall is also underway.
“The East Bridge will be completed connecting Gator Bowl Blvd. to the Hart Bridge. A new intersection will be completed and the roadway paved, allowing traffic to be routed from Gator Bowl Blvd. to the Hart Bridge. This will allow us to remove the Duval Street Detour, which is scheduled to take place in Summer 2021,” the city replied in an information request from WJCT News.
The city said the impact to traffic on Gator Bowl Boulevard would continue to be “minimal,” adding, "We maintain two lanes in each direction. We do not allow lane closures during times of special events. Lots K & H are not available for use, but all other parking areas are open.”
Metropolitan Park also remains open.
The city said approximately 20 to 30 people are working on the project, with up to 50 workers on site during peak activities.
Plans to demolish the Downtown ramps and expressway system were announced during the early stages of negotiations with Jaguars owner Shad Khan to develop Lot J and the surrounding area.
Plans to develop Lot J failed after the City Council voted down a $245.3 million taxpayer funded incentives package Khan was seeking.
However, he remains interested in developing the nearby Shipyards and former Kids Kampus areas. The former Kids Kampus is next to the construction zone between Metropolitan Park and the Shipyards property.