The I-95 exit ramp breached by a garbage truck that plummeted onto a park below is set to reopen Tuesday at 3 p.m. as state construction crews continue working to repair the hole left by the Monday afternoon crash.
Ivette Ruiz-Paz, spokeswoman for the Florida Transportation Department’s local district, said one lane will be open on the Southwest Seventh Street exit while the other lane remains closed to allow for repairs to continue. She expects the work to be completed by Friday.
The partial reopening of an exit crucial to downtown Miami’s rush-hour travels comes as officials piece together what caused the City of Miami truck to blast through the barrier around 5 p.m. Monday and plunge some 100 feet onto Jose Marti Park below.
Driver Kaseem Smith survived both the impact with the bridge guard rail and the ground. His truck crashed in a city park that’s home to after-school programs that happened to be closed Monday thanks to the Presidents Day holiday.
The twisted wreck of a garbage truck appeared to be entirely removed Tuesday just before noon as workers with rakes and push brooms removed what looked like mulch or brown sediment from a brick plaza and the street. A long crack ran along the concrete railway where the garbage dumpster landed, and a large chunk have been knocked from the top of the walkway wall.
High above, on the exit ramp, a truck with what looked like a cherry picker pulled away at rebar exposed when the truck plunged through the concrete railing on the west side of the ramp. City officials said parts of the park would be open Tuesday, but a sign on the gate to the park said it would remain closed “until further notice.”
Ruiz-Paz said state workers inspected the ramp and determined there was no structural damage. She said there was no evidence of any defects on the rail itself, which yielded to a truck going at an as-yet undetermined speed.
“Nothing went wrong” with the structure, she said. “The bridge is sound. The guard rail is sound.”