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May 24, 2013

Davie stuck with unwanted bridge; want to buy it?

Davie has found itself stuck with an unwanted bridge. Now the Town Council hopes to sell it.

Psssssst. Interested in buying a bridge?

This one’s in Davie, not Brooklyn, and it’s in mint condition — it’s never even been crossed.

Asking price: whatever anyone is willing to pay.; some assembly required.

When the Davie Town Council voted last year to commission a 90-foot span across the N-23 Canal on the west side of town, it envisioned a charming bridge that would be praised by the horseback riders and hikers who would use it.

The first hint that something was amiss came when a representative from the Shoreline Foundation construction firm called to ask how many vehicles would be driving across it each day.

None.

Oops.

By then the bridge was already perched astride the canal that divides the equestrian trail at Southwest 130th Avenue and 14th Street. Designed for vehicle traffic and not horses, the brown-painted steel lacks the charm the council expected.

“People are saying, ‘Thanks for putting that ugly thing in to devalue my home,’ ” said Davie Councilman Marlon Luis.

No one is really sure how the wrong bridge ended up in Davie. Shoreline thought it had been given the go-ahead on the design when, in fact, it hadn’t been reviewed at all. And the bridge went up so quickly, no one realized there was a problem until it was mostly assembled.

The town can’t just send it back for a refund.

It had cost $111,250, and shipping had been another $17,400.

The Shoreline Foundation offered to disassemble it, haul it away and try to sell it somewhere else, and then put the money from the sale toward a more appropriate replacement bridge for Davie.

But if the company doesn’t find a buyer, or one who will pay enough, said Councilman Bryan Caletka, the town could be on the hook for a lot of money — at least $36,000 just in shipping costs.

For now, the town is leaving the bridge as it is, without pouring the concrete that would make it permanent, and offering it up for sale.

In the meantime, the bridge’s appearance will be softened by Mother Nature, and a construction crane that’s been drawing complaints from nearby residents will be moved.

But anyone interested in buying the Davie bridge had better hurry — the fire sale ends in three months.

The Town Council is also planning to add an additional pedestrian bridge, across the C-11 Canal, and will discuss possible bridge designs at a meeting on June 5.

The design for the next pedestrian bridge will be reviewed by Davie’s site plan committee to ensure it isn’t built for cars.

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