Dixie Highway near Roosevelt Bridge may open next week
Stuart, Fl -Dixie Highway near the Roosevelt Bridge may be open next week.
Part of Dixie Highway, which has been closed to the public because of repair work to cracked and corroding parts of the Roosevelt Bridge, could reopen by the end of next week.
Meanwhile, Florida Department of Transportation crews will be working into the night Friday on the north span of the bridge, so it can open to two-way traffic, possibly Saturday. Officials are now saying it’s possible it may not open until Sunday or Monday.
When it does open, semi-trucks over 4 tons will not be allowed to use the bridge. The restriction is in place because the city is concerned about placing extra weight on a bridge that was originally meant for three, not four, lanes of traffic, said City of Stuart spokesman Ben Hogarth.
State Rep. Toby Overdorf, R-Stuart said Thursday FDOT officials told him Dixie Highway from Fern Street to Albany Avenue could be open to the public by July 3.
“They expect that they’re going to be doing the work starting (Friday) down there,” he said. “Some of the materials were being directed down there (Thursday).”
FDOT noticed a crack in the southbound Roosevelt Bridge June 16 and closed both the north and southbound bridges to the public.
The crack is above the Dixie Highway underpass near the Sailor’s Return restaurant.
The Department reported last week corrosion caused steel tendons in the southbound span to rupture. Minor levels of corrosion were reported by transportation officials on the northbound side, but, following a battery of tests this week, that corrosion hasn’t raised enough concern to keep the northbound side closed.
Thursday, Florida Department of Transportation officials tweeted that the agency was placing asphalt and working to reconfigure U.S. 1. The agency was also busy Thursday water blasting northbound Roosevelt Bridge to remove striping for the reconfiguration. Work on U.S.1 must be completed before the northbound span can open to four lanes of traffic, officials said.
Department of Transportation officials have been testing the north and southbound structures.
Hogarth said Thursday the city does not yet have results from the testing. Once the northbound span opens to traffic, Hogarth said it will likely be a few to several months before southbound Roosevelt Bridge is deemed safe for residents and visitors to drive on.
“Now that they have the bracing for that southbound span, they will be able to get in that bridge and really do a thorough investigation,” Overdorf said. “We’re now getting into that investigation side.”