Crews work to demolish I-595 bridge
DAVIE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A major construction project on Interstate 595 will be shutting down part of the Florida's Turnpike until Sunday afternoon.
Demolition crews will be taking down an old bridge at the interchange on Interstate 595. The project will be shutting down all northbound lanes on the Florida Turnpike until 1 p.m. on Sunday. Drivers will have to exit east on I-595.
The Florida Department of Transportation is advising drivers to avoid the area completely if possible.
Driver Anne Marie Acebedo said, "My son had a game in Coconut Creek today, a playoff game, and when we got on the Turnpike on Hollywood Boulevard, it was gridlock traffic."
FDOT is tearing down a bridge that once connected I-595 and southbound the Florida Turnpike in Davie.
The demolition is part of the $1.2 billion reconstruction project on I-595.
Paul Lampley from FDOT said, "We already opened up the new bridge. We opened it about two weeks ago, and now we're demolishing the old bridge to make room for the express lanes to come into the Turnpike median."
All southbound lanes were shut down on Saturday to keep drivers safe, while pieces of the bridge fell onto a bed of sand.
Lampley said, "We had to put fill material, sand and dirt over the road, the Turnpike, and now we're demolishing the bridge deck, the concrete bridge deck, and once the deck comes down it falls down on a bed of sand and doesn't affect the existing roadway."
It's a big task that has to be done piece by piece. "Taking down steel girders that support the deck and once those girders are down, we'll take down the three tiers that held open the bridge," said Lampley.
All northbound lanes were closed off just after 5 p.m. on Saturday and weren't scheduled to reopen until 1 p.m. on Sunday.
But even with all the mess and noise, some drivers say it will be worth it. "It's long overdue, and it's just causing traffic for a little bit, but that's the expansion with what's going on. It just has to take time," said driver Paul Davis.
Drivers will be detoured to eastbound I-595 / SR 84 (exit 54) to northbound SR 7 / US 441 to westbound Sunrise Boulevard to continue to northbound Florida's Turnpike.
(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)