Bridge to Key Biscayne shut down for repairs
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Drivers can expect some serious traffic concerns to and from Key Biscayne as bridge repairs begin.
Miami-Dade has shut down the westbound lanes of Bear Cut Bridge, which connects Virginia Key and Key Biscayne. Officials have cited structural issues with some of the steel beams as the reason for repair.
Traffic barrels now block the bridge's once busy westbound lanes. Emergency lane restrictions have cut down the number of available lanes from four to two, one lane for each direction. "The bridge needs to be repaired immediately," said Key Biscayne Mayor Franklin Caplan.
Florida Department of Transportation inspection reports showed deterioration in the structure. "There are some segments of it that were built back in 1944 that have some structural issues that we want to make sure get addressed in the proper way," said Kathleen Woods-Richardson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works and Waste Management.
The bridge's steel beams are the focus of the current repairs. "There's deterioration on some of the metal girders, [and] we don't know the extent," said Woods-Richardson, referring to saltwater corrosion on the structure's beams.
"It's going to suck," said driver Joe Harping, "especially with the tennis tournament coming up." Ernesto Marticorena, who also commutes to Key Biscayne, echoes Harping's sentiment. "It's crazy, especially when you have to work here," he said.
Miami-Dade County officials say they it might take them at least a year to repair the bridge.
(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)