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Fort Hamer Bridge makes magazine’s list for top North American projects

Traffic passes over the Fort Hamer bridge after it opened in October 2017. Work on the East Manatee bridge started in 2015.
Traffic passes over the Fort Hamer bridge after it opened in October 2017. Work on the East Manatee bridge started in 2015. Herald file photo

Fort Hamer Bridge has been named No. 7 on Roads & Bridges magazine’s Top 10 awards which recognize the top projects in North America for 2017.

The list rates bridges based on project challenges, impact to the region and scope of work.

The Fort Hamer Bridge opened in October 2017. Ground was broken on the 2,318-foot, two-lane bridge on March 19, 2015. Cost to build the bridge and associated improvements to Fort Hamer Road and Upper Manatee River Road totaled $32.6 million.

Challenges faced during the construction period included hurricanes and torrential rains. The new bridge opened a corridor between Parrish and Lakewood Ranch, and provided a north-south alternative to Interstate 75.

“We’re happy the bridge is finally open after 122 years,” said Ron Schulhofer, Manatee County public works director, of the lengthy history of discussions to span the Manatee River at Fort Hamer,

The 107-year-old Roads & Bridges magazine serves construction and maintenance professionals as well as heavy equipment manufacturers.

Ranking No. 1 on the list was the U.S. 70 Galants Channel Road Island Bridge in Carteret County, N.C. The only other Florida bridge on the list is the Newnan/Hubbard Street Bridge over Hogan’s Creek in Jacksonville.

James A. Jones Jr.: 941-745-7053, @jajones1

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