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Bruce Beach Phase 1 to open this month

City of Pensacola
Bruce Beach in August 2023.

The project to rehabilitate Bruce Beach in downtown Pensacola has been in the works for most of this decade. Now the work on phase one of the project is just about done. Pensacola Mayor D. C. Reeves has announced the playground at Bruce Beach will open on Saturday morning, April 27.

“We have the Portland Loo being installed on (April) 19th,” said Reeves at his weekly press conference on Tuesday. “We wanted to open it on a Saturday to make sure all the kids of our community will be able to get out there and play. So we are going to do that on the 27, I believe at 9 or 9:30 in the morning.”

The first area to be opened will feature a central plaza, public lawns, a learning garden and a children's playground. There will also be a pedestrian bridge to Community Maritime Park and, of course, the Portland Loo public rest room.

The mayor previously announced that this first phase of the park would be opened if it could be completed in time to be used during the coming school vacation.

“Phase 2 will not be done until October” said Reeves at a press conference back in February. “I felt like that was enough time to create some value for the citizens, to let them use the playground, the pedestrian bridge and all that. So, there will still be phase two construction (going on). There will be a fence along the (construction) line there to the south and to the west.”

Phase two of the Bruce Beach project, which will include a second Portland Loo rest room, is scheduled to be completed in the Fall. The price tag on the total project is around 12 million dollars.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.