The city of St. Petersburg is moving forward with plans for a new 40th Avenue bridge connecting the neighborhoods of Northeast Park and Shore Acres.
In the infancy stages, the city will work to select an engineering firm to develop a design and determine the necessary requirements for the bridge. The entire project will include public input and collaboration.
"Public safety and fiscal responsibility for our residents is why we are seeking a more permanent solution," said Director of Engineering and Capital Improvements Brejesh Prayman.
The new span over Smacks Bayou will replace the existing 40th Ave. bridge, which was closed for a period of time in August. The bridge has since been reconfigured with reduced two-way traffic, and will remain this way until the new bridge is completed.
Funding for the project will primarily be provided by the "Penny for Pinellas" one-cent sales tax. But voters in St. Pete will need to approve the project as a long-term capital infrastructure project. It will be a ballot item on election day, November 7, 2017.
The city of St. Pete is also working with the Florida Department of Transportation and plans to seek additional financial support from the Florida legislature.
The original bridge was built in 1960 and widened in 1991.