Coast Guard agrees to limit opening of I-110 bridge

The U.S. Coast Guard has agreed to MDOT’s request to restrict the times the I-110 highrise will open for marine traffic.

As part of the temporary schedule, which begins Friday, the bridge will not be opened to marine traffic between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. each day.

“We certainly appreciate this,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said of the decision. “Typically, marine traffic has the right-of-way at bridges, and it nearly takes an act of Congress to limit marine traffic like this.”

Gulf Regional Planning Commission has estimated that traffic on the Back Bay bridge will increase by nearly 6,000 vehicles on an average day, not quite half of the more than 20,000 vehicles that used the Popp’s Ferry bridge on an average day. (To see a map of the traffic projections from Gulf Regional, click here.)

“This temporary deviation from the drawbridge operating regulation will be for no longer than 180 days or until the Popp’s Ferry Bridge is returned to vehicular service, whichever is first,” said MDOT District Six Maintenance Engineer Todd Jordan. “By restricting marine traffic, MDOT hopes to increase the flow of vehicular traffic during peak travel times.”

MDOT has agreed to the city’s request to rebuild the Popp’s Ferry Bridge, and the agency will use Federal Highway Administration emergency funds for the project.

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For background on how Gulf Regional Planning Commission projects traffic involving the Popp’s Ferry bridge closure, click here.