City of Tampa Update #3 – Kennedy Bridge Incident
Media Briefing Scheduled
Public Works and Utilities Administrator Brad Baird with join Florida Department of Transportation District 7 Bridge Engineer Jim Jacobsen to brief the media at 3:30 p.m. on scene (east side of the bridge) to provide an additional update.
There is live truck parking available for media on the east side of Kennedy Bridge as well as in the Twiggs Street turnaround next to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. (For media wanting to park on the east side of Kennedy Bridge, please note that you will have to move immediately once the bridge has reopened.)
All appropriate agencies, including the City of Tampa, Florida Department of Transportation, and U.S. Coast Guard, have been notified and are responding.
At this point, the drill rig (previously identified as a “crane”) which snagged on Kennedy Bridge has not been stabilized. Orion Marine brought in an additional tug boat to assist. Unfortunately, it was determined that the crane located at the Riverwalk staging area (former Trump site) could not safely stabilize or lift the drill rig which had partially fallen into the Hillsborough River. Orion Marine will bring in an alternate 225 ton crane which is capable of stabilizing and lifting the drill rig.
The stabilization and lift of the drill rig is not anticipated to occur until tomorrow (Wednesday, November 5) morning. Once the rig is removed from the scene, the Florida Department of Transportation can then inspect Kennedy Bridge. The City of Tampa does not anticipate opening the bridge to motorists until late tomorrow.
Again, as discussed at this morning’s update, tidal flows through the Hillsborough River will be incredibly important as the process to stabilize and then remove the crane at the bridge moves forward. Low tide tonight will be at 6:11 p.m. with high tide coming back in around 11:54 p.m.
For questions regarding the employee(s) operating the barge this morning, please direct any questions to Johnson Brothers, the contractor.
The City of Tampa remains focused on working with crews to stabilize and remove the drill rig from the bridge in a manner that does not further impact Kennedy Bridge and keeps the crews and first responders safe.
Again, motorists traveling into and out of downtown Tampa should allow for extra time and plan to take alternate routes. For those traveling on I-275 trying to get to South Tampa (Hyde Park, TGH, Bayshore, MacDill Air Force Base), use the Armenia Ave. exit to Platt St., east on Platt St to your destination.
For those approaching downtown Tampa from the west, please take Kennedy Blvd/SR60 East to Howard Ave., travel north on Howard Ave to I-275, take I-275 to Tampa St (Exit 44), and then travel south on Tampa St to Jackson St (SR60E). Alternatively, take Azeele/Platt St to Florida Ave and travel north on Florida Ave to Jackson St (SR60E).
For those approaching downtown Tampa from the east, please take Kennedy Blvd/SR60 SR60 West to Florida Ave., travel north on Florida Ave to Tyler, take west on Tyler/Cass to Willow, and travel south on Willow to Kennedy Blvd (SR60W). Alternatively, take SR60 west to Tampa St., travel south on Tampa St to Brorein St., travel west on Brorein St to Plant Ave., and turn north on Plant Ave to Kennedy Blvd (SR60W).
All boat traffic near the incident has also been stopped, and will continue to be until the situation is resolved.