“We’re going to have a brand-new bridge,” he said.
In the meantime, the agency plans to begin repairs in August to shore up support on one of the bridge’s two piers. That work is expected to be finished by December.
“There’s no immediate need to declare an emergency or anything like that,” Fernandez said.
In Broward, FDOT will replace the Sunrise Boulevard bridge, which temporarily had the steel beneath its deck reinforced, starting in September. In 2016, the agency plans to replace the 1949 bridge at Broward Boulevard over the North Fork of the New River because its substructure — the piers or foundations holding up the structure — are too deteriorated.
The town of Davie, meanwhile, is now replacing the Southwest 45th Street (Orange Drive) bridge over the N-17 canal, a job to be completed in June.
Miami-Dade has slated some major work on a couple of bridges, including the Miami Avenue drawbridge over the river. The 1985 bridge needs a new metal surface deck and some minor mechanical and electrical work. The $5 million cost will be covered mostly by 2004 voter-approved, general-obligation bonds that earmarked several aging bridges.
The county is also replacing the quaint but obsolete Tamiami swing bridge farther up the river with a $32 million bascule-style drawbridge, with half the cost to be covered by the general obligation bonds and half by FDOT. The historic swing bridge will be moved to a nearby city park.
But the county has yet to identify funding for replacement of the structurally deficient Pine Tree Drive bridge over the Flamingo Waterway in Miami Beach, estimated at $10 million. Until then, public works will extend its life by doing repairs, including a $940,000 job this summer to replace the bridge’s deteriorated center span.
At some point, though, as happened with Bear Cut, engineers will decide that patchwork will no longer do.
“It gets to the point where the repair work is not feasible anymore,” Cotarelo said.