Bridges are necessary for commuting over canals, waterways, ditches, and freeways. You might assume they’re all safe if driving is allowed, but some aren’t as structurally sound as you may believe, especially in the Sunshine State. Here are some of the most traveled bridges in Florida in desperately poor condition.
What Does Structurally Deficient Mean
Florida has 12,881 bridges, and 449 of them are considered structurally deficient. A structurally deficient bridge means at least one essential element is in poor condition or worse. When a bridge is deemed structurally deficient, it should be repaired in the near future.
In 1.5% of these deficiencies, the deck area has the worst problems. Other areas that could indicate the need for repair include the superstructure, substructure, railings, guardrails, and more.
1. SB I-95 (SR-9) over Dania Cut-Off Canal
This bridge is part of the urban interstate in Broward County. It sees 100,750 crossings daily and was built in 1965. This bridge was reconstructed in 1989, but the high traffic rates have impacted it again.
During the last inspection of this bridge, it was structurally deficient but met the minimum requirements for people to continue using it. The foundation and other components are stable, but the substructure is in poor condition due to advanced section loss and deterioration.
2. I-295 (SR-9A) over Drainage Ditch
This urban interstate bridge over a drainage ditch in Duval County has 82,000 daily crossings. It was built in 2004 but quickly fell into poor condition. Recent NBI Reports indicate this structure is structurally deficient, although it is safe enough to stay in use for now.
3. N. Lake Blvd EB Over LWDD C-17 Canal
Palm Beach County has a deficient bridge that has 55,500 daily crossings. It was built in 1976, so it’s time for an update to ensure safety.
Reports show that this bridge is in better condition than others, but the deck, superstructure, and substructure all have minor problems. The issue arises with the bridge railings and approach guardrail because it was rated 0 for not meeting current standards and safety features.
4. SR 816 Oakland Pk Over Canal C-13
This Broward County bridge was built in 1975 and has 52,500 daily crossings. It is structurally deficient but safe enough to leave in place for now. However, the deck and superstructure are in poor condition.
5. US98 SR30 Over ICWW & Brooks St.
Okaloosa County has a bridge that was built in 1964 and has 50,500 daily crossings. While this bridge meets standards to remain in place, it is one of the most traveled bridges in Florida in desperately poor condition. It is structurally deficient due to deterioration and section loss, and the bridge railings and guardrail don’t meet safety standards.
6. WB NW 25th St. Over North Line Canal
In Miami-Dade County, a bridge built in 2016 with 48,400 daily crossings has fallen into poor condition. This bridge hasn’t been around nearly as long as others but needs attention as soon as possible. The deck geometry requires high priority for replacement, and the culverts have wide cracks and many other issues.
7. Sheridan St (CR822) Over Florida S Turnpike
Another bridge in Broward County is unsafe for driving, although there are 45,800 daily crossings. Built in 1965, this bridge has withstood quite a bit of traffic.
This bridge is no longer safe for driving because the superstructure is in serious condition. The superstructure has lost sections, deterioration, cracks, and other serious issues.
8. Del Prado Blvd NB Over Lido Canal
Those familiar with this area in Lee County know the deficient state of the bridge over Lido Canal. Built in 1965, this bridge has 43,000 daily crossings, making it essential to start repairs as soon as possible.
It needs repair or corrective action to ensure the safety of drivers as the deck and superstructure are in poor condition with lost sections and deterioration. Bridge railings, transitions, and guardrails also don’t meet current safety standards.
9. SR-134 (103rd St.) Over Ortega Creek
Built in Duval County over Ortega Creek in 1983, this bridge has 41,000 daily crossings. It meets minimum safety standards, and people can continue using it, but it is still structurally deficient.
The deck and superstructure are in poor condition and will continue to deteriorate. Transitions on the bridge also don’t meet safety standards.
10. US-1 (SR-5) Over Oyster Creek
Built in St. Johns County in 1958, this bridge has 41,000 daily crossings. It meets minimum standards that allow it to continue being used, but repair is inevitable soon.
The culverts have wide cracks, misalignment, erosion, and other serious issues. It must be inspected every six months, so its safety ratings can change quickly.
Summary of 10 Most Traveled Bridges in Florida in Desperately Poor Condition
|Broward||SB I-95 (SR-9) over Dania Cut-Off Canal||100,750|
|Duval||I-295 (SR-9A) over Drainage Ditch||82,000|
|Palm Beach||N. Lake Blvd EB Over LWDD C-17 Canal||55,500|
|Broward||SR 816 Oakland Pk Over Canal C-13||52,500|
|Okaloosa||US98 SR30 Over ICWW & Brooks St.||50,500|
|Miami-Dade||WB NW 25th St. Over North Line Canal||48,400|
|Broward||Sheridan St (CR822) Over Florida S Turnpike||45,800|
|Lee||Del Prado Blvd NB Over Lido Canal||43,000|
|Duval||SR-134 (103rd St.) Over Ortega Creek||41,000|
|St. Johns||US-1 (SR-5) Over Oyster Creek||41,000|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Flying High Productions/Shutterstock.com
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