Section Of New Three Mile Bridge Is Missing Following Hurricane Sally; Crane Also Collapses Onto Bridge

September 16, 2020

Authorities say that at least one section of the new Three Mile Bridge across Pensacola Bay is missing due to Hurricane Sally.

A large crane fell across the bridge, and there are reports of additional barge strikes.

The bridge will obviously remain closed for a lengthy period of time for repairs. The exact extent of damage won’t be known until conditions improve and engineers can begin inspections.

Photos for, click to enlarge.


33 Responses to “Section Of New Three Mile Bridge Is Missing Following Hurricane Sally; Crane Also Collapses Onto Bridge”

  1. Charlie on September 21st, 2020 8:22 pm

    In a previous comment I mentioned that besides the bridge contractor, the NAS Pensacola base Commander was surprised by the unexpected last minute change in expected course & near Cat 3 strength of Sally. It did a bunch of damage there & I have seen little coverage & photos, other than one source. Nothing at all mentioned about the World Class Air Museum & all of the many exposed aircraft parked outside on the ramp area. William or anyone, any word about that?

  2. Charlie on September 21st, 2020 7:57 pm

    For those wondering why the barges were not moved to a safe location, I ask everyone why I see numerous vehicle after vehicle parked everywhere, with water up to their roof tops. Why were these left in areas to be flooded, & with a little effort not moved to a safe location? Are these the same flooded vehicle owners now asking why the barges were not moved? Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

  3. Charlie on September 21st, 2020 7:36 pm

    About half of the commenters need to read & research before commenting. I have heard & read from a number of sources that the contractor Skanska does major projects worldwide, & has an overall high reputation for doing a great job. Just as I read that the Commander of NAS Pensacola stated they were totally caught off guard by the UNEXPECTED turn of events & going by government official weather forecast, so was the contractor. How many of YOU expected this hurricane to change to a near Cat. 3 & abruptly change course? Not many I guess, & neither did I. Before doing the blame game, it was NOT the force of the hurricane that did the damage as some think. It was totally the loose barges. They simply did not have time to safely move them. A bad guess on their part? Maybe. Moving them would cost lost time & money & according to the latest available forecast track, an unnecessary waste. Do any of you know or understand the logistics involved in moving barges at the last minute? The crane mounted on a barge didn’t really do much damage to the bridge, but mostly to itself. It fell when the barge it was mounted on went under the span & it caught on the span & toppled. There were actually two large sections of the bridge lost, done by two different barges, & not just one. I just love reading the comments from the Monday morning quarterbacks.

  4. Thomas May on September 19th, 2020 9:20 am

    They need to fire the individual(s) who decide to use FEMA and State funds to pay Skanska for this. It will set a precedent and every contractor will follow. If they can loosely “tie-off” barges and get paid in this instance, what contractor wouldn’t follow their example in the future so they won’t have to be responsible?

  5. Bewildered on September 18th, 2020 7:12 pm

    Our local news channel sure downplayed the storm and was busy Trump bashing instead. Therefore this storm caught a lot of people by surprise. Lots has changed since Ivan as far as covering what is important – not for the better

  6. Mike Tingle on September 18th, 2020 1:38 am

    How this bridge passed critical inspections has to be suspicious at best. There is no way this bridge would have passed strict thorough inspections. No way. This borders on fraud

    last year I took many photos of the shoddy workmanship with the new bridge. Sections installed with what appeared to be large areas of the concrete not even set. It had appeared damp. They covered those areas in paint. I noticed how the pilings where not square and when I first drove across it I felt like I was on a steep bank on a race track. Anyone notice how the lane leaning hard one way then not then again leaning. I’m not an engineer but even I can tell when something is not square. This new bridge has been the biggest disappointment. I told my wife a year ago something just wasn’t right with the bridge. I hope it doesn’t take a lawsuit to have the entire bridge fully repaired correctly and inspected by out of town inspectors. I hope I am wrong. But the result speaks volumes

  7. B. Weaver on September 17th, 2020 8:46 pm

    I hope it’s still under warranty.

  8. Well on September 17th, 2020 7:10 pm

    As Hancock said……..

    Good Job, Good Job

  9. Tabby on September 17th, 2020 5:43 pm

    @Arnold, I agree. However, I call folks that have been here 20 years tourists. They complain about new changes, like many folks out on Perdido Key. I think to myself, “before you folks came with all your condominiums, we could drive our truck out on Johnson’s Beach, build a fire, and camp.” Now, we can’t do a darn thing we “used” to because of all the “tourists”.

  10. Tabby on September 17th, 2020 5:42 pm

    @Arnold, I agree

  11. k on September 17th, 2020 3:09 pm

    No engineer alive designs a bridge to take an impact at 12 knots from a crane barge rated to lift 100 tons.

    The storm never posed a danger to the bridge.

    The crane and barge together weigh on the order of half a million pounds or so and were moving uncontrolled at more than twice the safe speed at which to move them.

    The barge, and the barge alone, is what took down that piece of the bridge. The fact that ONLY the impacted section is what fell testifies to the high strength of the bridge.

  12. Suzie B on September 17th, 2020 12:56 pm

    Sally was almost a high Cat 2, almost a Cat 3 – just 6mph under it. Ivan was a high Cat 3. The damage from equipment was definitely unexpected and probably it was too late to avoid. The bridge probably would have been fine without colliding objects. I think Sally was getting drunk after dark and started stumbling around the Gulf and lost focus of where she was going.

  13. fisherman on September 17th, 2020 11:57 am

    Fema the tax payers money should not pay for this. Personal libity is and should be on the compay.shame on them to take and ask fema to pay for this.

  14. rick on September 17th, 2020 9:16 am

    Previously, Skanska has moved their equipment far away from the bridge build site when a storm was close to the area. They gambled this time and lost.

  15. DK on September 16th, 2020 11:36 pm


  16. DK on September 16th, 2020 11:35 pm

    Build you a motorcycle

  17. Jarrod Dornfeld on September 16th, 2020 8:50 pm

    When are you people going to understand it wasn’t the Cat 2 h’cane? it was a barge-mounted crane crash that did it. No engineer designs for that.

  18. L on September 16th, 2020 8:27 pm

    Bridge had cracks in it to begin with. Crane, barge all careless

  19. Justice on September 16th, 2020 8:17 pm

    SKANSA should have NOT
    been the contractor. This is the most serious problem they caused but it isn’t the first problem

  20. Pop on September 16th, 2020 7:47 pm

    I ran a crane on barges years ago.
    If it could not be moved to a different
    location, the boom was always below
    bridge heighth and the barges were
    secured to the bridge columns. Even
    weathered some nastiness to adjust
    tention in 110 mph winds. Big fun !!!

  21. retired on September 16th, 2020 7:07 pm

    They did build it for a CAT .5 (point 5)

  22. Doug on September 16th, 2020 7:03 pm

    Wow Arnold your tired of the tourists coming here and spending money in our city? Maybe you would prefer to have our taxes raised to offset there influx of dollars. The company that left there equipment to chance and let it destroy the bridge should be held responsible for there mistakes and should have to incur all expenses to repair it. Arnold whatever you do please don’t go anywhere and invade others towns, cities, or communities and call it vacation you D-Bagg.

  23. Tommy John on September 16th, 2020 6:30 pm

    Completely avoidable

  24. MB Barnes on September 16th, 2020 4:25 pm

    I thought the entire purpose of this bridge was to bring this up to new FEMA standards of a class 4 and higher seas ? There are going to be some interesting investigations on this and if there aren’t, then there is something fishy going on with this.
    Sally was barely a class 2.

  25. Dean on September 16th, 2020 4:08 pm

    The crane should have been taken down before storm got here

  26. A Alex on September 16th, 2020 4:06 pm

    Surely, we the tax people won’t pay for these repairs. Likely a craine under that missing sections. Imprison the ones in charge

  27. Pcola. on September 16th, 2020 3:18 pm

    Perfect example of why they should have left the old existing bridge intact and in place as a backup!! Seems like common sense to me! Now what? Oh and just curious where were tax payers DOT inspectors? How does this happen a barge, a crane, and now a section of Bridge. Hmm

  28. chris on September 16th, 2020 2:35 pm

    Who would have thought that a hurricane would strike the Gulf Coast. Hmmmm.

  29. Al on September 16th, 2020 2:29 pm

    No reason for crane boom to collapse if proper
    crane operation regulations are followed.

  30. fred on September 16th, 2020 2:08 pm

    SKANSA should have secured its barges by towing them to the equipment staging area in Bayou Chico. These incidents are entirely their responsibility. FDOT should require them to pay all Garcon Point bridge tolls until the Bay Bridge is reopened. A direct strike from a hurricane isn’t required to generate high seas and dangerously powerful currents and waves.

  31. mark on September 16th, 2020 1:36 pm

    This same thing happens everywhere on the gulf coast from Houston, New Orleans and on over to Pensacola now it seems. We’ve seen damage to flood walls and train bridges from unsecured equipment in very recent storms yet, here it is again. These construction or barge/shipping companies don’t do what they must do to secure their equipment and prepare for storms. The only way to fix it is legislate heavy fines and personal liability. I doubt that happens because the prevailing attitude is that we can’t do anything to regulate business for the fear of being perceived as tying them up with red tape. I’m all for deregulation from rules for the sake of rules but there has to be room for smart regulation that encourage good corporate citizenship.

  32. Arnold on September 16th, 2020 1:13 pm

    Wow! If a Cat 2 caused this, hopefully they will have enough sense to reinforced the bridge to withstand this amount of turbulance. At least the Bob Sykes bridge is still intact. Us locals in Gulf Breeze could use a break from all the invasive and overcrowding tourists!

  33. Bill on September 16th, 2020 12:05 pm

    I guess it was impossible to have the foresight that a Cat 2 might hit.

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