All four lanes of Cow Key Channel Bridge, between Key West and Stock Island, reopened on Sept. 25. MANDY MILES/Keys Weekly

The orange construction cones will continue to line the southernmost junction of U.S. 1 where it enters the island of Key West. But all four lanes of the Cow Key Channel Bridge are now open for travel with no daily traffic shifts that had been in place since March.

Roadway restoration activities will last another month or so, according to the Florida Department of Transportation, which completed the $6.2 million project. Those include reconstructing the medians, installing landscape and repaving and restriping the road, FDOT reports on its project website

The speed limit is still reduced to 25 mph through the construction zone.

Crews have been working since March 16 to repair and replace parts of the twin-span bridge that separates Key West from neighboring Stock Island.

Pandemic-related travel restrictions alleviated the anticipated traffic tie-ups of the bridge work. 

Key West and Lower Keys residents had been dreading the daily lane closures that were expected to cause headaches for motorists and school buses coming to or departing Key West in the morning and afternoon. But with no tourists allowed in the Florida Keys between mid-March and June 1, countless hospitality workers unemployed and school campuses closed, the bridge work proceeded more smoothly than it would have without the pandemic.

“Nighttime, intermittent single lane closures will take place on the bridges and roadway, Sunday through Thursday, from 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.,” FDOT reports. “The roadway signals and crosswalk on College Road South are operational. The temporary traffic signal at the intersection of U.S. 1 and College Road North is removed. Pedestrian walkways, including the sidewalk on the outbound bridge and the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail, are open. The bicycle lane along the bridges will remain closed until the roadway work is complete.”More information is at fdotmiamidade.com.

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