Grand Lagoon Bridge Update [PICS]

by February 14, 2011 • 7 comments

Having broken ground almost 17 months ago, the Grand Lagoon Bridge is getting closer to completion every day.  The old bridge was a low restrictive thing offering a measly 10 foot clearance.  The new bridge will almost double that with a towering 18 feet of clearance.

Here are 5 fantastic facts on the new bridge which should be complete just before summertime.

  • The estimated cost of the entire project (bridge and Thomas Drive widening) is around $18.5 million.  Currently, Bay County has $19,462,409 to fund this project with $5,629,822 from local stimulus funds, $9,299,990 from state stimulus funds and $4,532,597 from grants that Bay County has been working on for years.  Based on the cost estimate, Bay County has all the money necessary to fund the entire project.
  • The new bridge will be 4 lanes total, two lanes of traffic traveling each direction and will stretch 250 feet across Grand Lagoon over three span structures.  Each span will be 83 feet 4 inches long.  In addition, on the outside of the lanes traveling in each direction will be a bicycle lane and pedestrian walkway.  The automobile lanes will be 12 feet in width, the bicycle lanes will be 5 foot 6 inches, and the pedestrian walkways will be 6 feet.  The total width of the new bridge will be 73 feet 6 inches, including 2 feet and 6 inches of outside barrier. The existing bridge is only 10 feet above the water, severely limiting the boat size that has access to the residential section of Grand Lagoon.  However, the new bridge will rest 18 feet above the water.
  • Right now, Bay County is considering walkways to accommodate fishing and other recreational activities under the bridge both on the north and south side of the lagoon.
  • The existing roadway that feeds the north and south side of the Grand Lagoon Bridge is only 2 lanes with a center turn lane, but the new wider roadway will be 5 lanes total.  With four 11 foot lanes and a 12 foot center turn lane, the new widened section of Thomas Drive will also include bicycle and pedestrian walkways, to continue the ease of passage for business foot commuters and bicyclers alike from the bridge.
  • The existing bridge structure was built originally in 1952 and sustained damage in 1995 during hurricane Opal.  It has been cited to have irreparable damage and is badly in need of replacement.  Right now, the bridge is a 6 span structure that is 150 feet wide.

Here are the latest pictures.  A special thanks to Chris Charles with Beachy Beach Real Estate for the pictures.

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1 captgeobob February 15, 2011 at 8:26 am

The new bridge will be 18′ off the water, however the water depth is only two or three feet.

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2 Cathy February 15, 2011 at 10:08 am

Hey there Bob…….. Do you actually believe that water dept. stays year round at a two to three feet dept?????
Now…… me being a woman even knows it doesn’t!
There are guidelines (different in all states of our country) codes departments that tell us exact how to build & do things. Engineers/Builders are required by law to follow these guidelines to the max to keep us safe. Many a time I have been to PCB crossing the old bridge when the water level is “low” and “high”….. it just does not stay at 2 feet.
Excellent progress with this new bridge….. I can’t wait to cross the new one! I am more than thankful for our officials who make sure things are built to specific to ensure our safety.
As far as the money issues and funding I am certain this bridge would have never been started unless proper funding was on-hand before.
Keep up the good work!
As always in my own opinion………….
Cathy/Tennessee

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3 Sharon February 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm

This has nothing to do with the bridge, but it’s close to the bridge, so I wanted to ask. Does anyone have information on the status of The Treasure Ship re-build and Hooks? That has always been one of our favorite places to visit in PCB and I haven’t seen any news on it in awhile. I am hoping it’s going to be reopened soon, or maybe even now!

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4 Cathy February 16, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Hey Sharon…… the last time I heard any news concerning the Treasure Ship re-build it was “not” going to happen. The city officials had a team of Engineers etc. come out & I believe last word was the damaged far worse & would cost too much to restore. Sad, yes it has been a wonderful tourist stop for many years. I have many a photo of this throughout the years.
If anyone has any other information please post it.
Thanks, Cathy/Tennessee

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5 Dan February 18, 2011 at 8:42 am

We had been told that the pedestrian sidewalks going under the bridge on the north and south ends was a done deal. Is this not the case?

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6 Igor June 1, 2011 at 10:12 am

Interesting photos, thanks!

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