The repairs were done to address mechanical issues that plagued the ailing bridge, causing it to occasionally get stuck. Though it may seem like Miami-Dade might have gotten some shoddy work done, officials on Thursday said the new bridge components are still being adjusted.
“During the construction or rehabilitation of a [drawbridge] there is an allocation of time (burn-in period) for adjustments to the functionality of the electrical, electronic and mechanical components to ensure reliability of the operation of the movable bridge prior to acceptance by the owner (county),” Miami-Dade transportation director Alice Bravo wrote in an email. “Electrical and electronic adjustments are common in bridge projects due to the sensitivity of the components involved in the operation.”
The east bridge underwent repairs from mid-November through late December, when crews worked on brakes, motors, switches and wiring.
“On the east Venetian project there is a 60 day burn-in period for these types of modifications,” Bravo said. “All of the malfunctions that have recently occurred have been during the burn-in period and the contractor has been monitoring and adjusting in order to eliminate the reccurrence of these glitches.”
Commuters are eager to get the problems fixed. The causeway one of three major routes that connect Miami to Miami Beach.
Together with what seems like an endless stream of construction projects in different corners of South Beach, problems with the Venetian’s drawbridges can cause traffic to back up, forcing drivers to take the MacArthur or Julia Tuttle causeways to commute cross Biscayne Bay.