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New Dowling Park bridge foundation underway

Aerial photos from a FDOT drone capture the work in progress at the new bridge on CR 250 in Dowling Park. -FDOT Courtesy Photo

By Tami Stevenson

Construction of the new bridge over the Suwannee River on County Road 250 at Dowling Park in Suwannee County is going well, according to Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Communications Specialist Troy Roberts.

Construction began in September of last year. They are expecting to be finished by late summer of 2020, weather permitting and barring any other unforeseen delays or circumstances. The existing bridge was built in the 1950’s and in need of replacement.

Keeping business local, Anderson Columbia Company, Inc, of Lake City, was hired by FDOT to handle the $11.7 million project and is doing a great job, according to Roberts. The aerial photos taken by an FDOT drone show the expanse of the project over the historic Suwannee River.

Roberts said the new bridge will be slightly taller and wider than the existing bridge, having the same 12 foot travel lanes as the old bridge, but adding 10 foot shoulders on either side as well.

They have constructed a temporary work bridge, as seen in the drone photos, and are currently moving into what they call the drill shaft phase. Basically, that is where construction crews are beginning to work on the foundation of the bridge. They place giant rebar cages into drilled holes, then pour concrete and fill up the rebar cages to create the foundation. “They build those up then build the bridge on top of that. In the coming months the new bridge will start to take shape,” he added.

The existing bridge will remain open to traffic with some sporadic lane closures at the beginning of the year but they will be minimal. Motorists will, however, begin to see lane closures when they start to re-align the roadway as they shift over to where the new bridge will be. Roberts expects it may be as early as late spring of 2020. “Until then there will not be many lane closures going on,” he added. Once this bridge is completed, they will demolish the old bridge. So they expect all of it to be completed by late summer of 2020. The new bridge will be located on the south side of the current bridge.

The new bridge will be placed on the south side of the existing bridge. The work is expected to be completed by late summer of 2020. -FDOT Courtesy Photo

Aerial photo showing the temporary work bridge constructed by Anderson Columbia on CR 250 in Dowling Park. -FDOT Courtesy Photo