A 62-year-old bridge in Jupiter is getting a major makeover and will soon be replaced.
The bridge, which is a portion of U.S. 1, crosses the Loxahatchee River and Intracoastal Waterway.
“I live right up near county line in Tequesta, so I’m constantly traveling over that bridge,” said Tequesta resident Jack Pardue.
Pardue works at the Blueline Surf Shop just down the road from the Jupiter Bridge. Recently a $133 million project was approved by the Florida Department of Transportation to replace the bridge.
“Traffic is already so bad in that area, especially with the downsizing on U.S. 1 from three lanes to two lanes. That intersection in front of the bridge is already so congested,” said Pardue.
“This will impact my commute to work every day,” said Haley Jones, who works in Jupiter.
FDOT says construction will begin in the summer of 2021, but a 20-month full bridge closure will begin in the spring of 2022.
“Twenty months is pretty shocking,” said Jones.
“That’s a long time, almost two years … It’s probably going to double my work commute,” said Pardue.
Traffic will be rerouted from U.S. 1 to Indiantown Road and Alternate A1A.
Significant changes include 7-foot bike lanes, and 8-foot sidewalks on both sides of the bridge, as well as an extended horizontal clearance of 125 feet and 35 feet of vertical clearance which could reduce bridge openings by 60 percent.
If all goes according to schedule, the bridge will be back open for use in early to mid 2025.
“I’ve just seen a lot of incidents already working here with traffic and pedestrians. I just hope they are able to make it in a safe way,” said Pardue.
If you have questions or want to learn more about the detours, FDOT is hosting a workshop on March 5 at the Jupiter Community Center.