Discover the 10 Counties in Florida With the Absolute Worst Bridges

Written by Chanel Coetzee
Updated: June 2, 2023
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Of the 12,590 bridges in Florida, 447 (3.6%) are in poor condition, which has increased since 2018, when there were 328 bridges with structural issues. In addition, five structurally deficient bridges occur on the Interstate Highway System. However, most of the worst bridges are not located on the National Highway System, including other major roads connecting ports, airports, truck, and rail terminals. It will cost an estimated $4.5 million to repair the 447 worst bridges in Florida. So, here are the 10 Counties in Florida with the absolute worst bridges in dire need of repair.

Modernization of a highway bridge

Repairing bridges is costly but crucial.

©ThomBal/Shutterstock.com

10 Counties in Florida With the Worst Bridges

CountyAllGoodFairPoorPercentage
Miami-Dade County1035764209625.9%
Holmes County15448832314.9%
Franklin County432202149%
Broward County693481192202.8%
Duval County812518275192.3%
Walton County22272132188.1%
Okaloosa County21784115188.3%
Dixie County5020131734%
Gadsden County12132741512.4%
Liberty County7717451519.5%

1. Miami-Dade County

Unfortunately, Miami-Dade County tops our list because out of 1035 bridges, 62 are structurally deficient, meaning 5.9% of the bridges in this County are not up to par. In fact, most of these bridges need repair or replacement, like the WB NW 25th St over North Line Canal, which serves 48,400 motorists each day.

2. Holmes County

Sadly, Holmes County is the second County in Florida with the worst bridges. While Holmes County only has 154 bridges, 23 of them are in bad shape. Meaning 14.9% of the County’s bridges need urgent repair or replacement. This includes the Love Road bridge over Whitewater Branch. This bridge’s bank protection is eroding. In addition, river control devices and embankments have severe damage. Furthermore, due to trees and brush restricting the channel, there is a minor chance of overtopping the roadway and bridge deck approaches.

3. Franklin County

While Franklin County doesn’t have many bridges (43 in total), it places third on this list because 21 of those bridges are in horrible condition. This means that 49% of Franklin County’s bridges are in desperate need of some TLC. In addition, the number of poor bridges in the County has increased since 2020, when 13 bridges were reported to have structural damage.

4. Broward County

There are 693 bridges in Broward County, but 20 of them are in poor condition. That means that 2.8% of bridges in the County need repairs or complete replacement. This includes the US 441 SR 7 over Dania Cut-Off Canal, which needs repairs to its bank protection. In addition, the Embankment protection and river control devices need minor repairs.

5. Duval County

Duval County is one of the Counties in Florida with the absolute worst bridges. For example, out of the 812 bridges in the County, 19 are in poor condition. This means 2.3% of the bridges in Duval County need urgent repairs, replacement, or upgrades. The Florida Department of Transportation is closely looking at five bridges in the County to repair, which include:

  • Heckscher Drive over Simpson Creek
  • Lem Turner Road over Trout River
  • North Main Street over the Broward River
  • Interstate 95 over the Nassau River
  • Interstate 10 over the CSX Railroad

6. Walton County

Walton County comes in sixth place on the list of the worst bridges in Florida because out of the 222 bridges in the County, 18 of them are in terrible condition. As a result, 8.1 % of Walton County’s bridges are in dire need of attention. This includes the SR 20 over Dismal Creek, which was built in 1980, and services 14,054 motorists a day.

7. Okaloosa County

Coming in at number seven is Okaloosa County, with a total of 217 bridges, but 18 of them are in poor condition. This means that 8.3% of the bridges in Okaloosa County need repairs or replacement. Bridges like the Nichols Road over Kennedy Branch are in serious need of some TLC. This bridge was built in 2005 and services 87 motorists a day. As a result of poor maintenance, plenty of minor repairs and modifications need to be made to these bridges to improve their structure and traffic flow.

8. Dixie County

One of the Counties with the worst bridges in Florida is Dixie County. While it only has 50 bridges, 17 are in desperate need of attention. As a result, 34% of the bridges in this County need to be upgraded or replaced. This includes the CR 357 over California Swamp, which was built in 1960 and services 150 motorists a day. Unfortunately, this bridge is structurally deficient and described as basically intolerable, requiring a high priority of replacement.

9. Gadsden County

The ninth position on this list belongs to Gadsden County, with 121 bridges in total, but 15 of those bridges need some serious work. This means that 12.4% of the County’s bridges are deteriorating at an alarming rate and make up some of the worst bridges in Florida. For example, the Hutchinson Ferry Road Bridge in northern Gadsden Country sent to car airborne when it collapsed after a week of heavy downpours in the area. The reason for the collapse was due to structural deficiency. However, the bridge met the minimum requirements for tolerable limits, so it was never replaced.

10. Liberty County

Last on the list is Liberty County, with 77 bridges in total, but 15 of them are in poor condition. This means that 19.5% of the bridges in this County need serious attention. One of these bridges is the SR20 over Telogia Creek, which was built in 1990 and services 7287 motorists every day. Unfortunately, this bridge has an unknown foundation, which hasn’t been evaluated for scour. Therefore, risk cannot be determined. So, it is flagged for monitoring, especially during flooding, which is usually followed by closure.

The Best Bridges in Florida

While there are plenty of deteriorating bridges in Florida, the Sunshine State also houses some of the most unique and beautiful bridges in the United States, including:

Acosta Bridge, Jacksonville

The Acosta Bridge was built in the 1920s. As a result, this stunning structure was the first pedestrian and automobile crossing over the St. Johns River. However, the bridge was replaced by a larger structure in the mid-90s. Currently, the Acosta Bridge measures less than half a mile. It contains two monorail tracks to serve the Jacksonville Skyway, making it notorious as one of the most pedestrian-friendly bridges in Florida. In addition, this bridge also has commuter lanes, which accommodate bicycle traffic. Furthermore, the Acosta Bridge moves traffic from downtown Jacksonville and Riverside neighborhoods to the San Marco and Southbank areas.

Long exposure of Jacksonville, Florida skyline and Acosta bridge spanning St. Johns river, at dusk. Jacksonville is a city located on the Atlantic coast of northeastern Florida.

The Acosta Bridge was built in the 1920s. It was the first pedestrian and automobile to cross over the St. Johns River.

©Mihai_Andritoiu/Shutterstock.com

Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne

The Rickenbacker Causeway bridge in Key Biscayne is more than five miles long and connects Miami to the barrier islands of Key Biscayne and Virginian Key. This bridge also welcomes walkers, runners, skaters, and bikers on its southbound perimeter lanes and provides views of the Miami skyline, Biscayne Bay, and surrounding beaches.

Aerial view of Miami Rickenbacker Causeway at sunset, Florida.

The Rickenbacker Causeway bridge in Key Biscayne is more than five miles long and connects Miami to the barrier islands of Key Biscayne and Virginian Key.

©pisaphotography/Shutterstock.com

Sunshine State Skyway, Tampa

The Sunshine State Skyway is considered the “Flage Bridge” of Florida. This bridge is a four-mile cable-stayed bridge connects Terra Ceia in Manatee County to St. Petersburg in Pinellas County. In addition, the Sunshine State Skyway is notorious for the 2,000-acre wildlife preserve. Therefore, taking a scenic drive over this bridge is a great idea, especially since it has rest areas on each side with large lots to take advantage of the beautiful scenery.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge spanning the Lower Tampa Bay and connecting Terra Ceia to St. Petersburg, Florida, USA.

The Sunshine State Skyway is considered the “Flage Bridge” of Florida.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Summary of the 10 Counties in Florida with the Worst Bridges

RankCountyNumber of Poor Bridges
1Miami-Dade63
2Holmes23
3Franklin21
4Broward20
5Duval19
6Walton18
7Okaloosa18
8Dixie17
9Gadsden15
10Liberty15

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Robert Miller Online/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Chanel Coetzee is a writer at A-Z Animals, primarily focusing on big cats, dogs, and travel. Chanel has been writing and researching about animals for over 10 years. She has also worked closely with big cats like lions, cheetahs, leopards, and tigers at a rescue and rehabilitation center in South Africa since 2009. As a resident of Cape Town, South Africa, Chanel enjoys beach walks with her Stafford bull terrier and traveling off the beaten path.

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