Project Status and FAQs for the Beckett Bridge Replacement Project

As specified in the Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement, Pinellas County created an Aesthetics Committee consisting of representatives from the local community, City of Tarpon Springs, Tarpon Springs Historical Society, and FHWA, to serve in an advisory capacity regarding appropriate aesthetic design elements for the replacement bridge. The committee finalized an Aesthetics Plan in 2018 that was used in the final design. Renderings based on the final Aesthetics Plan were developed.

Why does the existing bridge need to be replaced?

The existing two-lane Beckett Bridge, which carries Riverside Drive/North Spring Boulevard over Whitcomb Bayou, was originally constructed in 1924 as a timber bridge with a steel movable span. The timber portions of the bridge were replaced with concrete in 1956. Since then, major repairs were performed in 1979, 1998 and in 2011. These repairs were expensive and disrupted local traffic. Bridges built in the mid to late 1950s were typically designed to remain in service for about 50 years.

The reconstructed Beckett Bridge is over 50 years old and has deteriorated. The bridge is “load posted,” which means that some large, heavy trucks and other vehicles, including school buses, have been prohibited from crossing the bridge because of its deteriorating condition. It is likely that additional costly repairs will be needed in the future to keep the bridge operational.

The existing bridge is also considered “functionally obsolete” because of the narrow width of the bridge. There are no shoulders or bicycle lanes and the sidewalks are very narrow, about two feet wide. In addition, there are other characteristics of the bridge that don’t meet the current design safety standards required for new bridges.

When will construction start?

The Beckett Bridge Replacement project is currently in the final design and permitting phase. Design and permitting are anticipated to be complete in late 2021. Construction funding is anticipated to be included in the 2020-2030 Infrastructure Sales Tax (Penny for Pinellas) which was renewed in November 2017 with 83% voter support.

Questions and comments can be submitted by visiting the Contact Us page.