Sunday, August 25, 2013
HISTORIC WELL-TRAVELED CAMINO REAL BRIDGE NEEDS HELP
Built in 1939, the Camino Real Bridge in Boca Raton is in need of repairs and/or replacement. This double-leaf rolling lift bridge is a historic landmark, on the County Registry of Historic Places and eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There are limits to what one can do. It can be renovated, but not rebuilt. No other county bridge has its historical designations. It spans the intracoastal waterway west of the Boca Resort Beach Club and One Thousand Ocean, and east of the Bridge Hotel. Maximum weight on the bridge has been lowered from 36 to 30 tons. Its travel lanes and sidewalks need to be widened. Guardrails are obsolete. Bridge tender house needs to be replaced and moved from the south to the north side of the bridge.
Many of these conditions cause the bridge to fail to meet current Florida Department of Transportation standards. Any improvements need to pass local and state historical organizations. A $6MM rehabilitation project may start in 2015. The Flagler Bridge in West Palm Beach was built in 1938 and the state is replacing it now. There are seven other similar older bridges in Florida.