Main Street Bridge renovation continues

$11M renovation to last until next spring

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Main Street Bridge is being renovated as part of an $11 million project by the Florida Department of Transportation, but the construction, traffic delays and detours have some drivers frustrated.

And the work, which began in January, won't be complete until next spring.

Drivers are having to take alternate routes to get to and from downtown, but the FDOT said it's work that had to be done.

FDOT spokeswoman Laurie Sanderson said the project is on schedule, with 18-20 construction workers each day. She said the 73-year-old bridge needed some renovations.

"We have made temporary repairs for damage that has been done over the years to the bridge. This is a project done to make permanent repairs," Sanderson said.

The steel supports are being fixed and replaced. The walkway is being redone to make it safer, and it's getting a new paint job.

For now, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, drivers can't get onto the bridge from the Southbank at Riverplace Boulevard. Instead, they're detoured onto the Acosta Bridge.

The Main Street Bridge is shut down on select weekends for the major repairs. FDOT said it has to do that about 25 times.

While some are not happy with the detours or the loud noise, others are being patient, anticipating a better bridge tying together the River City.

"I think they're working very hard," said Charlie Morris.

"I suppose it's moving along. They seem like they are doing work," visitor Steven Pascal said. "It doesn't look like they are just laying around or anything like that."

The closures on Riverplace Boulevard are supposed to continue weekdays until about September. Then crews say they'll work on the other side of the bridge and close the bridge entrance near the Jacksonville Landing.