VENICE (WWSB) - A busy street in Venice is about to be rebuilt, after the state declared it in very poor condition and in need of replacement.The specific section is the bridge on Capri Isles Boulevard that crosses over Curry Creek – near East Venice Avenue.
On the surface, it appears to be perfectly fine, but the Florida Department of Transportation says the problem is down below. That’s where you see cracks and corrosion in the bridge structure.
The city debated fixing the bridge, but decided they would tear it down and completely rebuild it next year.
“For the normal user of the bridge, the bridge is safe and is still open for use. Large dump trucks carrying full loads will be redirected to use another bridge, only to not add any additional weight stress to the bridge until there’s time to replace it,” Kathleen Weeden, The City of Venice Engineer, explained.
Hundreds of drivers cross the bridge everyday, so safety is the city’s number one priority. However, the major construction could be a problem for the Capri Isles Golf Club right next door - which uses the bridge to get to other parts of the golf course.
“We knew it was coming, it was just a matter of when, but we didn’t think it would be this soon. I’m a little concerned on how it’ll affect our business, but if it needs to be done, it needs to be done,” Mike Cummings, the Head PGA Professional, told us.
The Golf Club knows it might be a bit of a struggle for several months., but agree with the city that before any major issues occur, this is something that needs to be taken care of. Plus, the reconstruction will widen the bridge with more space for the pedestrian walkway – which is something neighboring residents have been hoping for.
“It will make it stronger, safer and yeah it might be inconvenient in the beginning, but it will work out because it’s improving it and making it safer,” said Stacy Jackson who lives just down the street.
The rebuilding plans will now be going through the bidding process, but the city hopes to start construction by June of 2019. In the meantime, these are the weight limits for the bridge:
- Single Unit Truck: 19 tons
- Combination Trucks: 27 tons
- Truck with Trailer: 27 tons
Officials are asking that any vehicles who weigh more than these amounts to use Pinebrook or Auburn Road instead.