US 1 bridge to close for 20 months, causing traffic concerns
JUPITER, Fla. — A $122 million bridge project is set to begin Monday, replacing the U.S. Highway 1 bridge in Jupiter.
The bridge connects Jupiter and Tequesta over the Loxahatchee River.
The Florida Department of Transportation said the bridge will be closed for about 20 months.
WPTV went by the Italian restaurant Lynora’s across from the Loxahatchee River, where the bridge is set to be closed.
Staff there said the closure will divide the town, and they are counting on their regulars to keep business flowing.
“I kind of just put it out of my mind until the last few weeks when it’s the talk of the town now, so now it’s on everyone’s mind, everyone’s concerned about it,” regional manager Matt Brown said. “But we’ll get used to it, and when it’s all said and done, and we’ll be a better place for it.”
The FDOT said in 20 months, the new bridge will have an extra 17 feet of clearance, a navigable channel width of 125 feet and 7-foot bike lanes and concrete barriers to separate people from traffic.
“I’m hoping it helps with the traffic, that it helps with pedestrians,” Brown said. “It’s a hard place right now to walk or ride your bike across to ride around, so hopefully, it’ll make things easier in the long run.”
But people in town said they are concerned about traffic as congestion from two bridges is being merged into one along the State Road A1A bridge.
“We’re going to have a major ordeal with all this traffic, and there’s going to be a lot of backup, which there already,” Magna Figaro, who lives in Tequesta, said. “It’s going to take me 20 minutes to get to my shop, which normally takes five to 10 minutes, so it’s not good.”
There will be detours guiding people along Indiantown Road to the A1A bridge.
- U.S. 1 northbound motorists will go west on Indiantown Road to Alternate A1A, then north on Alternate A1A to U.S. 1.
- U.S. 1 southbound motorists will go south on Alternate A1A to Indiantown Road, then east on Indiantown Road to U.S. 1.
Intelligent Transportation System technology has been installed to monitor and actively manage traffic to maintain mobility along the detour route.
The bridge is expected to be complete by late 2024.