ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- City officials will meet with residents tonight to discuss plans to replace the 40th Ave. bridge.

  • Bridge is one of three entrances and exits for neighborhood
  • Deterioration is so bad that the entire bridge must be replaced
  • City officials will hear from residents tonight about bridge ideas
  • Residents want a higher bridge to allow boats to pass underneath

Locals have grown used to the construction along 40th Ave. The bridge is one of only three entrances and exits into the neighborhood. 

However, officials say that the deterioration of the bridge is so bad that it must be replaced entirely. Now, traffic has to travel on the outside edges of the bridge where it's structurally sound, but that has eliminated pedestrian lanes.

Tonight, residents will have the chance to sit down with city officials and and tell them what they would want out of this new bridge. 

"One of the biggest desires of Shore Acres residents is not only to get it done safe and get it done quick but also to raise the bridge to the highest level that would be feasible," said David Delrahim of the Shore Acres Civic Assosciation. 

Some locals would like to see the bridge raised to allow larger boats to pass underneath it. 

"I think it's helpful for residents, it's certainly good for home values, if they raise the bridge a bit so that larger boats can get underneath. But I don't know that the space allows for a significant change in the bridge, so just a working bridge that's safe for everyone to cross," said resident Sara Crawley.

For now, the city's goal is to keep the current 40th Ave. bridge open throughout the process. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2020.