The agency said the contractor would be working throughout the day yesterday, making final preparations for the southbound bridge to reopen. This work includes re-striping the bridges for two lanes of traffic and minor resurfacing.
Back in June, FDOT said that during a routine inspection, inspectors observed cracks on the southernmost span of the southbound Roosevelt Bridge. In an abundance of caution, the department closed both the southbound and northbound bridges until a thorough safety inspection could be completed. At the time, the U.S. Coast Guard warned that the bridge was "at risk of an imminent collapse," and warned boaters to avoid the area.
Last week, FDOT said initial findings of their inspections noted that a contributing factor to the corrosion at locations in the bridge is water seepage through small cracks on the bridge decks. As a result, FDOT worked with its contractor to complete deck sealing on the southbound bridge, taking advantage of the fact it already fully closed due to the ongoing repairs of span 1.
Upon reopening, both the northbound and southbound bridges will be limited to two lanes of traffic. This configuration will allow for the completion of median modifications and the proactive step of also sealing the deck of the northbound bridge.
In addition, truck restrictions in place on the U.S. 1 corridor will be removed and the 5-ton gross vehicle weight restriction will be lifted, allowing multiple axle vehicles and trucks of all legal weights to traverse the bridges. Detours will be removed and regular tolls on the Florida Turnpike will be restored between MP 133 (Monterey Rd) and MP 142 (Port St. Lucie Blvd.).
FDOT says the effort to seal the bridges will protect the structures and help ensure corrosion as well as major closures do not occur in the future. When adding this extra proactive protection to the scheduled work, the estimated date to restore the bridge to six lanes of traffic is now January.
SOURCE: Florida DOT