Ortega River Drawbridge Painting Begins Monday

May 11, 2018

Ortega Bridge boaters on Jacksonville’s Westside will be impacted beginning Monday as cleaning and painting work commences under the drawbridge.

The Ortega River Drawbridge.
Credit FDOT

The channel will remain open to marine traffic with the work being done on one side of the channel at a time.

The bascule bridge will be on single leaf operations. The Florida Department of Transportation is urging mariners to proceed with caution since there will be floating equipment in the waterway.

Mariners who need a double leaf opening will need to contact the bridge tender four hours in advance.

Although a date hasn’t been announced yet, a full ten day full bridge closure will be needed at some point during the restoration project to complete electrical and painting work.

The $1.7 million project is expected to be completed by late December, depending on the weather and any other unforeseen circumstances.

The Ortega River Bridge is a bascule drawbridge that was built in 1927. It’s raised and lowered approximately 7,000 times a year, according to FDOT.

Bascule drawbridges feature counterweights that continuously balance a span, referred to as a leaf,  throughout its upward swing. 

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.