According to the Pensacola News Journal, photos posted on social media show damage to the surface of the bridge and indicate a crane fell on the bridge and knocked away a section of the roadway. Reports also say another barge is loose and drifting in Escambia Bay toward the I-10 bridge.
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said at a news conference on Wednesday that an assessment had been done earlier that morning, but he did not indicate the extent of the damage to the Pensacola Bay Bridge, which connects Pensacola to the city of Gulf Breeze, CNN reports.
The City of Gulf Breeze tweeted a photo of what appears to be a crane on top of the Three Mile Bridge, saying the bridge was closed. Another tweet from the city today indicates the bridge is still closed. A later tweet yesterday from the city said the I-10 Bridge, Bob Sikes Bridge, Garcon Point Bridge, and the Pensacola Bay Bridge are all closed due to storm-related damage.
The existing Pensacola Bay Bridge is considered structurally deficient by the Florida DOT (FDOT), which is working on a $400 million replacement project for the bridge. The eastbound structure of the bridge opened in September 2019, and the construction of the westbound structure connecting Gulf Breeze to Pensacola is expected to be completed by late 2021, CNN says.
FDOT says it has been unable to assess any possible damage to the bridge due to ongoing high winds, and that crews will be dispatched to assess the situation once conditions are safer, according to Pensacola News Journal.
SOURCE: CNN / Pensacola News Journal / City of Gulf Breeze