The Southeast 17th Street bridge is a bascule drawbridge located just north of the Port Everglades cut. The causeway goes from the west side of US1/Federal Highway eastward over the ICW and twists northward, becoming A1A along the Fort Lauderdale beach. The western approach is known as the Commodore Brook Causeway, while the actual bridge is named after former Florida congressman E. Clay Shaw, Jr.
Winner of the 2004 Engineering Excellence Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies, the 17th Street Bridge provides a signature entrance to this visually stimulating city of Fort Lauderdale. The new bridge was constructed on the same alignment as the existing bridge in order to maintain the connecting roadway alignment and reduce right-of-way costs. The bridge features the first open bascule piers, which were a result of the community-chosen “timeless/contemporary” theme. Nearly 170’ long, the precast concrete segmental approaches rise above the riverbanks and allow the newly available property to be used for park areas and parking.
The bridge’s innovative bascule-span superstructure displays structural efficiency, economy, and reduced maintenance requirements. Its configuration incorporates the use of steel-box main girders, floor-beams with moment-resisting connections, and a lightweight Exodermic bridge deck made composite with the floor-beams and main girders.