Camino Real Bridge over the Intracoastal is expected to reopen to traffic on Friday June 21 without any fanfare.
“People need to understand the bridge will be open to vehicle and pedestrian traffic, but the contractor will still be working,” said project administrator Andres Atehortua.
The last day the contract calls for the bridge to be closed is June 20, which means at midnight it would reopen, Atehortua said.
That’s barring any further complications.
The bridge shut down completely on April 12, 2018, cutting off access to Camino Real east of the waterway. Drivers, bikers and pedestrians were detoured to the Palmetto Park Road bridge over the Intracoastal to the north.
Originally, the Camino Real bridge was scheduled to close for a year. But after the steel coating system was removed from July to August, “an engineer’s assessment found heavy deterioration and severe section loss of the existing structural steel,” according to the city. That required additional repairs, and the project was delayed another 12 weeks.
“Operations are critical now, and the contractor may need to do some work, but that wouldn’t prevent the bridge from opening to traffic,” Atehortua added.
This isn’t a city project. Kiewit Instructure South Co. is the contractor. Palm Beach County Engineering and Public Works has been overseeing the $9 million bridge rehabilitation.
Work has included moving the bridge tender’s house to the north side. The bridge was made slightly wider to accommodate more bicyclists and pedestrians.
The new bridge has a similar architectural design, the same clearance height and a similar railing.
By Marci Shatzman