Brooks Bridge

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Brooks Bridge
Carries US 98
Crosses Santa Rosa Sound
Locale Fort Walton Beach, Florida to Okaloosa Island
ID number 303566
Clearance below 50 feet (15.24 m)
Construction begin 1965
Construction end 1966
Opened 1966
Coordinates 30°23′31″N 86°35′55″W / 30.39194°N 86.59861°W / 30.39194; -86.59861 (Brooks Bridge)Coordinates: 30°23′31″N 86°35′55″W / 30.39194°N 86.59861°W / 30.39194; -86.59861 (Brooks Bridge)

The Brooks Bridge is a four-lane steel and concrete structure that carries highway U.S. Route 98 over Santa Rosa Sound (mile 223 of the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway) just west of the Choctawhatchee Bay between downtown Fort Walton Beach, Florida and the three-mile section of Okaloosa Island controlled by the city of Fort Walton Beach. It is named for John T. Brooks, a long-time local developer and city figure. It has a charted clearance of 50 feet above the water.[1]

Constructed in 1965–1966, it replaced a 1935-vintage low-level steel through-truss center-pier swing-span structure immediately west of the current bridge which had become increasingly unreliable with age, the center-pivoting span having been known to get stuck in the open position while allowing for transit of maritime traffic. Removal of the steel work and the old concrete pivot pier began in March 1966 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the new Brooks Bridge reached completion with removal taking about three weeks.[2]

As the only local crossing of the Santa Rosa Sound, it is subject to traffic congestion. Vehicular speed limits on the span are 35 miles per hour eastbound and 25 miles per hour westbound. An additional bridge between Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island has been discussed for many years. On December 20, 2013, the Florida Department of Transportation announced it had begun planning for the replacement of the 47-year-old bridge.[3]


  1. ^ "Waterway Guide 1970 / Southern Edition", Sidney J. Wain, Inc., Chesapeake, Virginia, Volume 23, Number 2, page 259.
  2. ^ Fort Walton Beach Florida, "Old Bridge Is Removed At Brooks", Playground Daily News, Tuesday 15 March 1966, Volume 20, Number 27, page 3.
  3. ^ Locals shocked by Brooks Bridge announcement. Retrieved on 2014-7-11.