Ask Pat: Fourth St pedestrian overpass.

Ed Sadowski asks—

When will the Fourth St pedestrian overpass to Pier Park really open?

Originally, it was supposed to be open “late in 2014.” Then we heard it was postponed to January 2015, due to delays caused by “unseasonably cold weather.”

January came and went, and then we were told the opening was postponed until “mid-March.” This time there were no reasons given for the delay (leaving one to think that perhaps the unseasonbly [warm] weather caused the workers to play hooky).

Here we are, mid-March, with no hint of its imminent opening or of further delay.

It would be nice to have at least more transparency if not more accountability regarding meeting dates.

You want the good news or the bad news? I have it on very good authority that the overpass will be open to able-bodied types (that is, the staircase) by the end of March. We are not quite at the “or I’ll eat my hat” stage, but it is looking good. The elevator will not be opened until May.

There were indeed delays caused by weather unseasonable to pour concrete, then there were some deficiencies identified in the concrete finish that needed to be corrected, but it looks like the contractor has addressed those and the schedule is happy again. The main structure is almost good to go.

The elevator is still waiting for some replacement parts. The equipment arrived and some parts turned out to be the not compatible with the application for complicated reasons beyond my geologist pay grade. Who knew a cage and a winch were so complicated? Regardless, the problem has been identified, the replacement parts ordered, and I have been assured the elevator will run in May.

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