NewsLocal News


Inspection reports show FDOT warned about failing bridges in Gadsden County

Posted at 5:17 PM, Sep 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-10 17:17:46-04

GADSDEN COUNTY, Fla. — We received new information from the inspection reports on two Gadsden County bridges.

You may remember one bridge collapsed on Hutchinson Ferry Road a few weeks ago. Days later. the Florida Department of Transportation ordered another bridge on Juniper Creek Road be shut down as well.

People in the county say that the bridges were always a concern. Now we're learning that the Florida Department of Transportation mirrored those same concerns.

Inspections reports showed both had poor performance ratings.

WTXL's Jada Williams combed through those reports and gives us more details into why FDOT deemed them unsafe.

Back in February, the Florida Department of Transportation inspected this steel culvert on Hutchinson Ferry Road.

FDOT deemed it structurally deficient and gave Gadsden County a list of things to fix. It collapsed in August.

While FDOT administers inspection, it's the county's responsibility to fix all bridges and steel culverts.

A steel culvert is similar to a bridge, but is more tunnel like underneath and there's less water below. The report listed problems such as several damaged and missing reflectors along the approach guardrails.

The roadway stripping had faded, and the asphalt that was previously put down to fix the bridge reduced the effection bridge rail height.

Days after the steel culvert collapsed, FDOT and Gadsden County Public Works shut down the steel culvert on Juniper Creek Road.

FDOT inspected it back in June. The report cited deficiencies which require prompt corrective action.

The culvert has missing reflectors, damaged guardrails, and incapable of redirecting traffic.

So what happens next?

We reached out to the county, but haven't heard back.

For the people who take Hutchinson Ferry and Juniper Creek, they'll have to get used to the detour signs in their neighborhood.

The last time we spoke to the county, they said they didn't have an estimate for when the roads would be repaired.