The State Road 30 (US 98) Brooks Bridge Project will provide a vital, multimodal transportation link and improve safety for this vacation destination. Protective barrier walls will separate new 12-foot-wide shared-use paths — featuring scenic overlooks and shade structures — from traffic.
"The public's support for this project has been overwhelming. We're excited to implement their feedback in our execution," said Superior Construction Manager Evan Lawrence. "Pedestrians and cyclists will benefit from additional parking and a new recreational area beneath the bridge. We've also devised solutions to ensure this project is environmentally friendly based on the community's priorities."
The new Brooks Bridge will measure 2,111 feet (793 feet longer than the current one) and feature six travel lanes (three eastbound and three westbound) versus the current four-lane structure. The bridge's vertical clearance will also increase from 50 to 65 feet in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard regulations. The new structure will extend past the U.S. 98/Santa Rosa Boulevard intersection, eliminating the existing traffic signal and allowing better traffic flow. The project scope also includes additional drainage improvements, a new roundabout, and intersection improvements from Perry Avenue (west of the Fort Walton Beach shore) to Pier Road (east of the Okaloosa Island shore).
In addition, the design-build team will prioritize providing safer boat access to the Brooks Bridge Marina. Since 2013, there have been two incidents in which barges have struck the Brooks Bridge or bridge fenders. The new design will increase the structure's resilience which is crucial since it serves as a hurricane evacuation route for Okaloosa Island residents.
While construction is underway, the existing bridge will remain in place through the first two phases of construction to minimize traffic impacts. Superior and WSP expect to complete the project by August 2027.