PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- The bridge that arcs over the Intracoastal Waterway and hugs the side of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate will be under construction soon, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.
The Southern Boulevard Bridge, also known as SR 80, connects West Palm Beach and Palm Beach. It stretches from Washington Road to SR-A1A or South Ocean Boulevard.
The bridge will be replaced temporarily with another bridge just north of the existing one. Traffic will continue to pass through the area during construction.
Right now, the parts for the temporary bridge are being built. Utility owners are relocating lines off the existing bridge and out of the way of the construction plans.
The new bridge project will cost about $93 million, according to FDOT. One lane in each direction will carry traffic to and from the island. It will have decorative lighting, pedestrian features, traffic signals and drainage elements. FDOT says sidewalks will be 6-feet wide on each side, near 10-foot-wide paved shoulders. Bike lanes will be 7-feet wide.
It is a bascule bridge, a term which refers to the moveable nature and style. The drawbridge will have a vertical clearance of 21 feet. This portion carries drivers and pedestrians between the West Palm Beach side to the tiny Bingham Island. Continuing toward Palm Beach, the bridge turns into a low-level “tide relief bridge,” a portion that is fixed. The new portion will be similar to the one that exists.
Construction is set to begin later in April of 2017, as workers build the temporary bridge. This part of the project will take 8 or 9 months. The new bridge and is set to be finished in late 2020.
A public information meeting is scheduled Wednesday, March 15, 2017 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church Cultural Center. The event is at 110 Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach. There the public will see renderings and construction plans and learn more about traffic control.
Security has been tight near Mar-a-Lago on Palm Beach, an estate owned by President Donald. During his visits while in office, the Coast Guard has established security zonesthat stretch from in the Intracoastal Waterway to points offshore and to nearby roadways.
A new helipad is now being built on Mar-a-Lago’s property to ease travel for President Trump between PBIA and Palm Beach island during his term.