Titusville, Fla. (December 14, 2021) – Today, Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Space Florida, and NASA hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new NASA Causeway Bridge, a $126 million project to build two high-level fixed bridges over the Indian River, providing a new gateway to Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
“Since taking office, our administration has prioritized investment in transportation infrastructure that will enhance access to Cape Canaveral and advance Florida’s position as a leader in space,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “This project is preparing Florida for future growth, facilitating local commerce, and ensuring economic vitality for continued launches on our space coast.”
“Florida’s Space Coast is growing every day, and our Space Program is a driving force behind it. The new NASA Causeway Bridge will help generate future investment and ensure that America’s mission in Space will continue,” said U.S. Representative Bill Posey.
“Florida’s Space Coast is a worldwide hub for aerospace innovation, space exploration and defense, and the new NASA Causeway Bridge will serve as the launchpad for future growth in our aerospace industry, which employs more than 130,000 Floridians,” said Senator Debbie Mayfield (R-Melbourne). “I am thankful for the Governor’s leadership and for FDOT, NASA, and Space Florida prioritizing this vital investment in Florida’s future.”
“This project demonstrates our unwavering commitment to Florida’s space industry and helps further establish Brevard County as a destination to dream big,” said Senator Tom A. Wright (R-Port Orange). “Today, we continued that commitment through this critical infrastructure project that supports jobs and everyday life in Brevard County.”
“FHWA applauds Florida in achieving another milestone toward modernizing our transportation system. This project will boost our economic productivity and global competitiveness and enhances the quality of life in these communities,” said FHWA Florida Division Administrator, Jamie Christian.
“When Kennedy Space Center began our transformation from a government-only to a multi-user spaceport, one of the things we did was to evaluate our infrastructure to identify improvements that we would need to undertake in order to fully support our customers and partners. Now, more than a decade later, we are seeing the results of this strategic planning. By assessing, partnering, and developing new policies to serve not only the needs of our NASA programs, but those of our commercial and Department of Defense partners, we are achieving the results we imagined a decade ago. The NASA Causeway bridge has always been a critical thoroughfare for essential mission hardware, and it remains crucial to mission success as we work to provide assured access to space for our partners and the nation,” said Janet Petro, Center Director, Kennedy Space Center.
“Today’s groundbreaking marks a new era for Florida’s Space Coast,” said Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida. “Replacing the Indian River Bridge, which links Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island, and Cape Canaveral to Titusville, will support the area’s ever-increasing aerospace activity and robust launch cadence. Space Florida was pleased to have provided the enabling INFRA Grant which will assure continued success at the nation’s busiest spaceport. We thank our partners in the Florida legislature, the Florida Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Transportation and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for working together to support Florida’s dominant position in the commercial space marketplace.”
“Today is an example of Florida’s commitment to support the innovation and growth of the space industry, and a promise to enhance economic opportunities for the industry in Brevard County,” said FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. “This project is not only a big win for Florida, but this grant also offers countless benefits for the residents of the Space Coast and the visitors who come from all over to experience one of Florida’s unique industries.”
The existing NASA Causeway has twin 2,993-foot-long bascule bridges, originally built in 1964 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. During the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs, the bridges were vital for transportation of space-bound payloads to the launch facilities.
As the new bridges to Florida’s future spaceflights, the new 4,025-foot-long spans will be the key corridor for commercial spaceflights for SpaceX and Blue Origin.
A partnership among the four agencies made this reconstruction project possible. In 2019, the state of Florida secured a $90 million Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the project.
Construction of the new spans begins this month. Traffic to and from the Space Center and launch facilities will remain open throughout the project. Motorists should expect to be driving on these new bridges by the end of 2025.
Information about this project is available online at https://www.cflroads.com/project/440424-1.
About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed. www.spaceflorida.gov