Nine months after barges blasted chunks out of the Pensacola Bay Bridge during Hurricane Sally, the $600 million bridge is finally fully opened.
The Pensacola News Journal reported that four lanes of traffic reopened Thursday, a fix that fully restores the connection between Gulf Breeze and Pensacola for the first time since the bridge was damaged on Sept. 15, 2020, as Sally roiled the waters before making landfall.
According to the Florida Department of Transportation, which announced the reopening, several barges used in the construction of the new bridge broke free in Sally. The storm dumped more than two feet of rain onto parts of Northwest Florida and inundated barrier islands like Perdido Key.
Tolls on the Garcon Point Bridge, which took on traffic during Pensacola Bay Bridge’s closure, reinstate on Sunday.
The new bridge is still a work in progress as a second span of the bridge is still under construction and not due to be completed until sometime in 2022. A 17th Avenue roundabout should be ready in August, according to the FDOT.
The agency created an animated video on its website to assist motorists on navigating that portion when it opens.