The Clyde B. Wells Bridge is a work in progress and will be for the next couple years.
After breaking ground in late December, construction has begun in earnest on U.S. Highway 331S, with a goal of adding more lanes to the bridge, to enable easier tourist transit and evacuation from the beaches in case of a hurricane.
Aside from the turning of dirt and apparent road widening, motorists should not be affected, said Ian Satter, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Transportation.
"We are not widening the bridge, but building a second structure," said Satter, "which should not affect travel."
The new structure will consist of two lanes, which, when complete, will be the northbound lanes of the 331 Bridge. The bridge currently consists of only two lanes for both northbound and southbound travel. In addition to the new bridge, a dedicated park and recreation area will be built beneath the southern approach.
FDOT also broke ground on the expansion of U.S. 331 from north of State Road (S.R.) 20 to I-10. The $47 million project includes widening the roadway to four lanes, safety upgrades, drainage improvements and new signage and pavement markings.
The project is set for completion in the summer of 2016, and is projected to come in at a cost of $118.5 million, said Satter.