City leaders to issue resolution supporting Brooks Bridge study

Matt Algarin
The Brooks Bridge was opened in 1966 as a “50-year bridge,” Corcoran said. The bridge is considered obsolete though due to its narrow lanes and absence of emergency shoulders, an FDOT press release states.

While Brooks Bridge may be structurally sound according to the Florida Department of Transportation, the state agency still classifies the bridge as “functionally obsolete.”

And that should matter to city leaders in Destin, says Ted Corcoran, a former Destin City Councilman.

“I’m going to all of the municipalities in our area, asking all of us as a united body to issue a resolution in support of FDOT,” said Corcoran, president and CEO of the Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce.

With a unanimous vote, city leaders in Destin agreed to have a resolution placed on their Aug. 18 agenda that would support an FDOT study for the replacement of the Brooks Bridge, as well as a study that would look at the need for a second bridge between Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island.

The Brooks Bridge was opened in 1966 as a “50-year bridge,” Corcoran said. The bridge is considered obsolete though due to its narrow lanes and absence of emergency shoulders, an FDOT press release states.

Talks about the future of the span that runs across Santa Rosa Sound have been taking place since 1984, Corcoran said, but no progress has been made. He said at one point, the Brooks Bridge was considered a “top-five” priority in the entire state.

Since then, a barge carrying a crane crashed into the bridge, causing quite a bit of damage.

As for the timeline, Corcoran told the council that that by 2016 there would be “lines on the map,” but it wouldn’t be until at least 2020 until any type of groundbreaking would take place.

“This is a long-term thing,” he said.