The Howard Frankland Bridge Prepares for Hurricane Ian

Sept. 28, 2022
The hurricane will test the structures resilience

Construction on the Howard Frankland Bridge has stopped in the wake of news that Hurricane Ian will be touching down on Florida's west coast this coming week. Tuesday marked the end of construction and the beginning of storm preparation on the structure.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is monitoring The Howard Frankland Bridge, along with two other bridges connecting Pinellas and Hillsborough counties: the Gandy Bridge and the Courtney Campbell Causeway. 

“We will close the bridges if the approaches get covered by water,” regional department spokesperson Kris Carson said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times. “We’re just going to have to monitor the storm.”

FDOT announced on Monday the suspension of all lane closures in the Tampa Bay area. Contractors were instructed to temporarily suspend all operations on active construction projects within the projected path of Hurricane Ian. “All available lanes will remain open on the interstate and State Road system in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties,” according to a press release.

The cranes used in constructing the Howard Frankland Bridge have been tied together, with their lift cables dropped in the waters in preparation for Hurricane Ian.

The $865 million bridge is composed of two spans: one has four southbound lanes, the other four northbound lanes. The span under construction will bring four general-use lanes, four express toll lanes, and a 12-foot-wide bike and pedestrian trail. Completion is expected in late 2025. Construction for the span began in 2020.

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Source: Tampa Bay Times