2 large beams placed on new pedestrian bridge in Key Largo

Construction begins on Marvin D. Adams Waterway pedestrian bridge

Crews worked in the wee hours of the morning to place two 120-foot, 108,000-pound beams over Marvin D. Adams Waterway in Key Largo for a new pedestrian bridge. (Cammy Clark)

KEY LARGO, Fla. – Two large beams were constructed early Friday morning at each end of the Marvin D. Adams Waterway pedestrian bridge in Key Largo.

The beams each weigh 108,000 pounds and are 120 feet in length Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark said. Crews from three different construction companies worked together to get the long, heavy beams moved from special trucks up and over the bridge railing and placed over the waterway.

Putting the two beams successfully into place was the biggest challenge of building Monroe County’s new pedestrian bridge, construction project manager Jim Hennigar said.

Hennigar said the beams had to be that long because support structures could not be placed into the popular waterway because of boat traffic between Florida Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Florida Keys Electric Cooperative depowered the overhead electrical line for the safety of workers in the area. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office controlled vehicle traffic on U.S. Highway 1 and marine traffic through Adams Cut.

The $1.18 million, 11.5-foot-wide pedestrian bridge at mile marker 103.3 on U.S. 1 is expected to be finished in December, Monroe County project manager Debra London said.

The pedestrian bridge is the final piece of the U.S. 1 bayside shared-use path, which stretches from mile marker 99 to 106 and provides a safe, paved route for people to walk, run and bike.

After the two beams were placed at each end of the pedestrian bridge, senior project engineer Pom Chakkaphak declared with a thumbs up: "We are done."

"Everything went really well, thanks to the team," Chakkaphak said.