Soon, the old bridge across Santa Rosa Creek at Main Street could be nothing but memories and chunks of concrete at Tim Winsor’s recycling yard.
Souza Construction crews began the noisy procedure of demolishing the 92-year-old structure Tuesday, Sept. 16, cutting concrete and rebar, dropping the westerly section first, bashing the big chunks into more manageable pieces and then carting off the remains.
Crews also are getting riprap into place, while working toward the concurrent construction of wing walls, retaining walls, and the underpinnings for the new roadway alignment and approaches to the new bridge.
Those activities, especially those that encroach into the area that had been occupied by the old bridge, illustrate why Main Street is closed from Eton Drive to Santa Rosa Creek Road, according to Michael Boyce, resident engineer for the county Public Works Department.
“Everybody’s been very cooperative and understanding,” he said Tuesday, Sept. 16, about the detours that take locals onto Eton and/or Burton Drive, and other vehicles, especially big trucks, to Cambria Drive to get to Main Street. Santa Rosa Creek Road remains open, and school bus schedules have been adjusted during the closure.
The closure and detours may be in force a few days longer than initially anticipated, Boyce said.
As always, schedules are weather-dependent, and electronic message boards will continue to remind people of the closure.
He explained some features of the new bridge as he watched operator Weston Arthurs maneuvering a massive Cat 336 track excavator under the new span, picking up huge chunks of bridge.
The resident engineer said the new span is “my favorite kind,” because the gently curved structure will have a lot of character, and the bridge will have open railings and “Colonial dry-stack theme” imprints on the concrete supports.
Also, the “clear span” design, which echoes the open feeling of the upper structure, means there are no piers in the creek to impede water flow or wildlife.