FDOT prepares to replace Arlington River bridge

Informational meeting to be held Wednesday night

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Residents have their opportunity to ask questions and voice their opinions Wednesday night about the replacement of the University Boulevard bridge over the Arlington River.

Anyone with questions is encouraged to attend the meeting Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. at the Arlington Congregational Church at 431 University Blvd. N.

"We're going to have our project engineers there to answer any individual questions about traffic impact, the round about we're building [and] any detours that may be needed," said Mike Goldman, of the Florida Department of Transportation.

The bridge is a detour for the Mathews Bridge traffic, which is currently closed because of damage. Commuters cross the Arlington River bridge on University Boulevard to continue onto Atlantic Boulevard.

Goldman told Channel 4 that is being considered. Construction will not begin until the Mathews Bridge is reopened. FDOT officials estimate work on the Arlington River bridge could begin on Nov. 4, but the start date is flexible, depending on when work wraps up on the Mathews.

Crews could be finished with construction by the fall of 2015.

Goldman said FDOT believes the old bridge is beyond repair.

"It's an older bridge and it's one of those situations we ran into where it either had to be repaired or replaced," said Goldman. "We decided let's build a brand new bridge that will last for many years to come instead of the constant maintenance that's been going on in recent years."

A temporary bridge will be built for drivers to use while the existing two-lane bridge is demolished and replaced with a new concrete one.

The construction will not create any detours or lane closures during peak travel times, 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Crews will only pile drive between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. During those times, pedestrians will still be able to cross.

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