The Florida DOT (FDOT) District 4 office released the following to address the situation regarding the Roosevelt Bridge:
During a routine biannual inspection yesterday, inspectors observed cracks on the southernmost span of the southbound Roosevelt Bridge. The Roosevelt Bridge is two separated bridges (three lanes each) over the St. Lucie River. In an abundance of caution, the Department has closed both bridges until a thorough safety inspection is completed.
“Safety is always our number one priority,” said Gerry O’Reilly, FDOT District Four Secretary. “Based on initial observations last night and out of an abundance of caution, FDOT closed the SB Roosevelt Bridge and Dixie Highway which passes under the span in question. We are systematically assessing every aspect of the structure at this time.”
FDOT immediately assembled a statewide team of bridge experts. Teams are on site assessing the situation and performing a full structural review. The waterway and FEC railroad corridor remain unaffected at this time.
Motorists and pedestrians wishing to cross the St. Lucie River on S.R. 707/Dixie Highway should follow detour signs as posted. Law enforcement is on site to assist in directing traffic. Updates will be provided as they are available.
A large crack has appeared underneath the south end of the Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart, Florida, causing officials to shut down the southbound lanes to traffic indefinitely, according to several news outlets.
According to a report from WPTV, the U.S. Coast Guard has warned that the bridge is "at risk of an imminent collapse," and is warning boaters to avoid the area. The Coast Guard said in a tweet that it had established a safety zone stopping any commercial maritime traffic from passing under the Roosevelt Bridge.
WPTV reported that construction crews working on an unrelated road project on the bridge on Tuesday spotted the damage and notified police. City officials in Stuart told WPTV that the crack is more of an impact to the facade of the bridge, but that engineers from the Florida DOT will determine if there is a deeper structural issue putting the bridge in danger of further damage or collapse.
According to the Sun Sentinel, the northbound lanes of the bridge are being split to accommodate one northbound lane and one southbound lane for traffic. This Sentinel quoted a representative of the Stuart police, who said some concrete had also fallen from underneath the bridge on the southbound side.
The Roosevelt Bridge was built 24 years ago and spans the St. Lucie River, according to a report from CNN.
This story is developing and Roads & Bridges will provide updates as they become available.
SOURCE: WPTV / Sun Sentinel / CNN