What’s Bugging You? Closed Bridge - FOX 35 News Orlando

What’s Bugging You? Closed Bridge

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Holly Hill's Daytona Avenue means a lot to the hundreds who live on or just off of it, like Tommy and Dawn Ritchie.

"Daytona Avenue is the main strip for the residents in this area," Dawn says.

It runs right down the middle of old Holly Hill's neighborhood district, right past the fire station and City Hall.

"That's our main drive," Dawn explains. "You can get to anywhere, just like on U.S. 1, but [with] less congestion."

There's only one problem these days. Daytona Avenue is now divided because the bridge over LPGA Canal is shut down.

"They just came in one day and they took the bridge out," Tommy recalls.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) actually shut the bridge down after the last time they inspected it, when they figured out that it's structurally unsound.

"DOT said it was unsafe, and it had to be rebuilt," says Jim McCroskey, Holly Hill City Manager.

McCroskey says that happened in February 2010. It's been closed ever since. The Ritchie's live about three blocks from the fire station, but dawn says detouring around the bridge could make the difference in an emergency.

"Every emergency that there is, the fire department shows up," Dawn explains. "They are the first to respond.  It could be that 30 seconds to one minute that causes the loss of a life."

The city got a $750,000 federal grant to rebuild last October.

"DOT had gone out for bids," McCroskey says.

But the winning construction bid fell through a couple weeks back. Still, McCroskey says the rebuild should start by the end of the year.

"We wanted it yesterday," he says. "We didn't have the money. They have the money, so we have to go by their rules."

Rules Dawn says need to be sped up.

"I want it back," she explains.
McCroskey says the plan is to have the bridge rebuilt and reopened by early next summer.

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