Camino Bridge Update: Completion Slated For June 20, 2019
This Old Camino Bridge
The bridge renovation completion date has been moved out to mid-June, roughly two months later than originally scheduled.
Much like an episode of “This Old House”, the long running series on PBS, contractors invariably run into design issues once they have gotten into a project. No one could have predicted the challenges the Camino Bridge presented without consulting the original builders. Nonetheless, the beautiful new bridge will be worth the wait, as safety is the number one factor.
Camino Bridge Improvements Timeline
The existing Camino (Boca Club) Bridge was originally finished in 1939. Despite it’s long history in service, no major structural changes had been made to the bridge, and the growing volume of traffic finally took its toll. The safety of the bridge had become a question that could no longer be ignored.
In the 1980’s some improvements were made: A steel deck replaced the wooden one, and gearboxes were repaired. In 2007 the rusted steel deck needed to be replaced and new sidewalks and railings were installed. The bridge was repainted and the walls of the bridge tender’s house were also replaced.
Camino Bridge Gets Historical Status
ln 1974 the County Commission first considered replacing the then 36-year-old Camino Bridge with a four-lane span, but the plan stalled. Under pressure from the Boca Raton Historical Society, the commission was persuaded to create the Camino Real Road and Bridge Historic District in 1997. Historical status prevented the replacement of the structure and only allowed for repairs.
You can read more about the bridge’s history in an earlier article here.
Something Old, Something New
While the basic structure of the bridge has remained intact, the most significant visible change is the relocation of the Bridge Tender’s house. Formerly located to the south, the new house is now on the northeast span-side for better visibility for the bridge tender. An architecturally updated roof replaces the Spanish influenced red barrel tile roof.
Camino Bridge Updates
Bullet points from the latest notice:
- There will be a half channel closure (MAX 41 FT wide) during the project. The public will have the other half (41 FT) of unimpeded channel (one raised bascule leaf) to traverse at all times.
- For vessels requiring additional width, there will need to be a 6-hour notice for a full channel clearance, both leaves raised opening. Vessels requesting a two leaf, full channel opening will contact Jeff Sulivan (Kiewit Project Manager) at (301) 740-4483.
- All barges will be withdrawn from the bridge navigable channel during non-working hours (Monday thru Saturday after 6:00 p.m. and all day Sunday).
- There will be future FULL CHANNEL CLOSURES scheduled with the US Coast Guard. Once determined, those future dates will be scheduled and published on the Local Notice to Mariners.
Even though the long-anticipated re-opening of the Camino Bridge has been postponed to June, it will be a welcome relief for pedestrians and motorists as well as for boaters.