In a momentous day for the Space Coast’s infrastructure, the new Dr. Sally Ride Memorial Bridge opens its eastbound lanes to traffic.
This long-anticipated event marks a significant advancement in the region’s transportation, replacing the old NASA Causeway that was originally constructed in 1964.
A project conceived and driven by the Florida Department of Transportation, Space Florida, USDOT and NASA, the new bridge stands as a testament to perseverance, ingenuity, and dedication to progress.
The grand opening, held today, June 9, 2023, is an occasion of much celebration, not only marking the completion of a complex engineering task but also a moment of historical significance.
The bridge is named after Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman to venture into space. This commemorative gesture symbolizes the bridging of the past and the future, honoring the legacy of space exploration and its future endeavours.
FDOT’s spokesperson highlighted that the eastbound side of the bridge was completed an impressive 126 days ahead of schedule.
“The next milestone on this project will obviously be the next bridge. So we’re at the halfway point with this bridge. We’re going to open it to traffic. You’ll immediately begin to see the old bridge and old structure being demolished so that we can build up another new structure,” Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue said.
Its replacement, the Dr. Sally Ride Memorial Bridge, will not only provide a safer, more efficient means of transportation but also stand as a monument to the region’s rich history and commitment to space exploration.
The old NASA Causeway, which has faithfully served the region for almost six decades, is slated for demolition, marking the end of an era. The spokesperson for FDOT said that demolition for the westbound bridge will commence in two weeks, with both east and west-bound traffic using the new bridge for two-way traffic
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The original NASA Causeway, built in 1964, was a fundamental part of Florida’s transportation system. It has witnessed countless historic moments, from the excitement of the Apollo missions to the dawn of commercial space travel.
As traffic begins to flow over the new bridge, it’s not just about reaching the other side – it’s a journey through the rich tapestry of the region’s history and a nod to its future.