Bridge Bents Inspected
The Florida Department of Transportation had scheduled major repair and rehabilitation work for the 2,128-foot long Longboat Pass Bridge beginning in May 2019. A colony of Brazilian free-tailed bats was known to inhabit the expansion joints of the bridge. Florida law prohibits harm to bats and allows the use of exclusion devices which allows bats to safely escape the structure but blocks re-entry.
Project tasks involved inspecting each of the bridge’s 45 bents and sealing all unoccupied expansion joints at each bent. Exclusion devices were installed at occupied bents and were re-inspected at regular intervals until all bats had exited the expansion joints at which time the joint was sealed.