I-10 Overpass vs. Minneapolis Bridge

Residents in the Northern Panhandle can relate to the tragic bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Over the years, issues have been raised about Interstate 10's infrastructure.

Each day in Northwest Florida, thousands of vehicles travel in the eastbound and westbound lanes along Interstate 10.

Only a small fraction of motorists have trouble reaching their destinations.

Birmingham Trucker Cyprus Pickett is a vehicle hauler across much of the Southeast and Midwest. Pickett says poor bridges and roads are a common site. "Some of our bridges in America are in bad shape. Some have signs stating you can't go on because of a truck being over weight."

Following the July 1994 flood, the I-10 bridge over the Choctawhatee Bridge was temporarily closed to traffic due to concerns that the high water damaged the concrete pillars.

Caryville Councilman Jack Palmer says it was inconvenient, but better to err on caution. "I saw in Caryville what high water can do, and who knows what would have happened if vehicles went on the bad pillars; anything could have happened."

For Westville, Florida, Mayor and Tug Boat Captain, Stephen Harrington, he sees the bad shape the bridges are in, from the water up. "You can see the cracks at the bottom, and all the disrepair as you get to the top of the bridge."

A Florida DOT spokesman says his personnel try to inspect all state and county bridges once every two-years.

If a bridge structural problem is identified, Florida DOT officials say immediate efforts are made to correct it.


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