Gov. DeSantis announces finalization of federal grant for new bridge, roadway improvements on Space Coast

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday the final signing of Florida’s $90 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America Grant.

The grant allocates money to help with the rebuilding of the Indian River Bridge and roadway improvements to Space Commerce Way in Merritt Island.

The $126 million bridge project includes new high-level fixed bridges that replace the current twin draw bridges that were built in 1964.

Bridge enhancements will provide critical support for large vehicles that are necessary for future space launches, said a press release from Gov. DeSantis’ office.

The new bridges will also serve as a public access route between the mainland near Titusville and North Merritt Island as well as a hurricane evacuation route for residents of the barrier islands in the area.

“This project provides much-needed mobility enhancements for the more than 12,000 drivers who depend on the causeway between Titusville and Merritt Island each day,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault.

Also included in the grant funding is widening approximately 2.7 miles of Space Commerce Way to four lanes.

Improvements along this corridor offer enhanced access for the public and commercial traffic, which helps to ensure critical commerce through the area, benefiting all businesses including those in the space industry, said the release.

Roadway improvements on this corridor total an additional $24 million.

Construction of the new bridges is anticipated to begin in late 2021 and estimated to be complete in 2025.

Construction of the improvements to Space Commerce Way is expected to begin in late 2022 and estimated to be complete in late 2024.