Miami-Dade County

Drawbridge crashes onto yacht in Bay Harbor Islands

The drawbridge on the Broad Causeway in Bay Harbor Islands crashed onto a passing yacht named “Rockstar” on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014.
The drawbridge on the Broad Causeway in Bay Harbor Islands crashed onto a passing yacht named “Rockstar” on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014.

A drawbridge crashed onto a passing mega-yacht Tuesday, closing a causeway that connects the Miami-Dade mainland to the beach.

The yacht, called Rockstar, was passing through the Broad Causeway bridge, at 96th Street in Bay Harbor Islands, when half of the drawbridge suddenly slipped, causing major damage to the vessel’s upper deck but no major injuries.

Authorities were unsure what caused the drawbridge’s malfunction. The yacht was being towed north on the Intracoastal Waterway by two tugboats when the bridge dropped.

“The bridge was open, and the vessel was trying to make its way through,” said Jorge Pino, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Pino said authorities were not sure how badly the bridge might have been damaged. .

U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Mark Barney said about 15 people were aboard the yacht.

“There will be an investigation to see what caused the incident. We’re not sure of what collided with what yet,” Barney said.

Bridge engineers were surveying the scene Tuesday evening, according to Bay Harbor Islands Town Manager Ron Wasson. “They’re working on making sure the bridge is safe for car traffic,” he said.

He said they also were trying to ensure that the bridge, which links the mainland to his town, would close and lock properly.

The bridge reopened for vehicles and pedestrians late Tuesday night.

The Town Council recently approved an $11.5 million contract to repair and upgrade the bridge after the Florida Department of Transportation described it as “functionally obsolete.” The job was scheduled to take about 18 months. Wasson said the contractor would survey the work this week and that the accident was unlikely to delay the project.

“They were scheduled to start in January. If anything, they’ll probably start work sooner,” Wasson said.

Miami Herald writer Jackie Salo contributed to this report.

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