BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County commissioners formalized their support for a $200 million grant to replace the DuPont Bridge on Tuesday.

They approved a letter of support to accompany the Florida Department of Transportation’s request for $200 million in federal funding.

A barge hit the bridge in January, shutting it down for the better part of a day. However, the collision is not the reason for the replacement request.

The project has actually been in the works for several years. But plans call for the new bridge to be taller, with 10-foot wide pedestrian paths. Officials are also hoping the new construction will hopefully prevent a barge accident.

“With our TPO, this has been on the list for several years and we’re just trying to make sure the federal dollars are poured in this way,” Bay County Commissioner, Robert Carroll, said. “Every state out there is asking for those same federal dollars and we’re going to make sure they come in here to Bay County.”

Carroll said the new bridge would be a benefit for both Tyndall Air Force Base and Eastern Shipbuilding.

If the grant request is successful, construction could begin in 2024.