The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) this week hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new NASA Causeway Bridge, a $126 million project to build two high-level fixed bridges over the Indian River.
The new bridge will provide a new gateway to Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
The existing NASA Causeway has twin 2,993-foot-long bascule bridges, originally built in 1964 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. During the Apollo and space shuttle programs, the bridges were vital for transportation of space-bound payloads to the launch facilities.
"The NASA Causeway bridge has always been a critical thoroughfare for essential mission hardware, and it remains crucial to mission success as we work to provide assured access to space for our partners and the nation,” Janet Petro, Center Director, Kennedy Space Center, said in a statement.
As the new bridges to Florida’s future spaceflights, the new 4,025-ft-long spans will be the key corridor for commercial spaceflights for SpaceX and Blue Origin.
A partnership among FDOT, Space Florida, and NASA made this reconstruction project possible. In 2019, the state of Florida secured a $90 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the project.
“Today is an example of Florida’s commitment to support the innovation and growth of the space industry, and a promise to enhance economic opportunities for the industry in Brevard County,” FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E., said in a statement. “This project is not only a big win for Florida, but this grant also offers countless benefits for the residents of the Space Coast and the visitors who come from all over to experience one of Florida’s unique industries.”
Bridge construction of the new spans begins this month. Traffic to and from the Space Center and launch facilities will remain open throughout the project. Motorists should expect to be driving on these new bridges by the end of 2025.
SOURCE: Florida DOT