Kennedy Boulevard Bridge
Anti Slip Coating for Historic Bridge
A bridge originally named after a Revolutionary War hero get’s a name change, then some anti slip coating for its walkways!
At the planning of the city of Tampa, Florida, John Jackson, then a federal surveyor named the streets after Presidents and military heroes. Originally the street that went East and West across the city of Tampa was named after Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, or Lafayette for short. Lafayette was an American Revolutionary hero, who led the French in aid to American’s wishing to rid themselves of British rule.
Due to unfortunate circumstances, the bridge would not retain that name forever. In December 1963 the name was changed from Lafayette Street, to Kennedy Boulevard. The switch occurred due to the assassination of President Kennedy just a week prior. Ergo the bridge that crossed the Hillsborough River was renamed to Kennedy Boulevard Bridge.
Renovation Attempts Over the Years
Renovation plans were thwarted in the 1970s due to public outcry. Plans from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) widened the bridge and removed the iconic urn-shaped balusters and replaced then with modern steel rails. Updates continued to be delayed or rejected from 1988 until 1993 when the FDOT warned that the bridge would collapse without repair or replacement.
After years of negotiation, approval was finally granted, and the Kennedy Boulevard Bridge was closed on February 18, 1994 for repairs. Most of the historic features were preserved or replicated. Modern features were also added during the renovation: thicker balustrades, concrete barrier between pedestrian and traffic, as well as the inclusion of non-slip surfaces for the walkways.
Non-Slip Mebac® Flooring from IKG
The Kennedy Boulevard Bridge in downtown Tampa, Florida is a unique, twin leaf bascule highway bridge over the Hillsborough River. The adjacent pedestrian walkway is surfaced with IKG’s Safe-T-Grid® aluminum grating (TB940) with Mebac® slip resistant coating, an ideal choice because its top walking surface feels like solid flooring underfoot, unlike any other open grid flooring.
That is because of IKG’s patented T-Bar design using extruded aluminum bearing bars to create a unique, solid feeling walking surface. The result is a walkway that is high-strength, light weight and economical, offered as standard in the corrosion resistant 6063 aluminum alloy. Safe-T-Grid®, like all lKG metal grating products, is manufactured to NAAMM standards. It is available from IKG in a wide selection of styles and in plain or Mebac® surfaces available.
Now people can safely enjoy the Kennedy Boulevard Bridge, as it celebrates it’s 107th birthday in 2021!
One of the oldest and most trusted steel and aluminum grating manufacturers in the USA, IKG has provided exceptional grating products for over 100 years. With a wide variety of grating products, IKG’s metal grating can be used in industrial settings, sports arenas, for safety solutions or even unique projects like the 500 Brickell garage. Contact us today at (800)- 324-8417 or fill out our Request a Quote form and a representative will be in touch as soon as possible.
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