On Nov. 20, City Planning and Development Engineering Manager Tom Goldsbury told the City Council Courthouse Oversight Special Committee Pearl Street along the east side of the county courthouse was closed to prepare for installation of foundations for the walkway.
He said the walkway was being fabricated off-site and was scheduled to be delivered and installed by Jan. 6. The bridge cost about $700,000.
Circuit and county judges access their parking area inside the courthouse via the entrance along Pearl Street, which still is partially closed during construction.
Foundation work for the walkway began on schedule in December, said Goldsbury. He said Wednesday the distance between the two buildings was “slightly off” on the plans for the walkway.
The company that is contracted to fabricate the component, Vulcan Steel of Jacksonville, determined after reviewing the final plans that the walkway should be built piece-by-piece on the site, rather than prefabricated and lifted into place with cranes.
Darrin Fitzpatrick, Vulcan Steel vice president, said the final design of the walkway did not allow it to be brought to the job site as a single structure.
“The final design of the bridge is more of a structural building design with I-beams and columns,” he said. “Instead of sitting on the columns, the columns are part of the structure.”
Vulcan Steel specializes in prefabricating similar structures. The company built and installed the elevated pedestrian walkway above Southside Boulevard at Ivey Road and an elevated walkway at the BP facility along Heckscher Drive, Fitzpatrick said.
The structural steel portion of the project should be complete in about two weeks. After the structural steel frame is complete, a concrete floor will be poured along the walkway and then the sides, roof and windows will be installed.
“It’s a three-month project,” said Goldsbury. “We’re keeping the judges informed.”
The almost $26 million renovation of the former federal courthouse that will connect via the walkway to the county courthouse is scheduled to be complete in December.
Installation of the elevated pedestrian walkway that will connect the State Attorney’s Office building and the Duval County Courthouse, originally scheduled to be complete this month, now is scheduled to be finished in March.