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West Winterberry Bridge no longer at risk of collapse, planning to reopen next week

Posted at 4:03 PM, Jan 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-20 04:29:12-05

UPDATE - (1/19/23) The West Winterberry Bridge on Marco Island is no longer at risk of collapse, this comes after the bridge faced an emergency closure, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

Marco Island plans to reopen the bridge sometime next week. The bridge will be reconstructed, following approval of the reconstruction plans and a bid of the contract.

The city expects the contract to be awarded in April, and reconstruction of the bridge to begin this summer.

However, Marco Island's City Manager originally said FDOT reported their review of the project for the bridge will be done by February 15th, 2023, but once they even get the stamp of approval, it could take up to a year to rebuild the bridge.

It's a bridge that nearly 3,000 people pass every day, according to the National Bridge Inventory.

FDOT said that the post-tensioning system was coming loose, which made the bridge susceptible to collapse.

Original Reporting Continues Below.

According to FDOT, the state last inspected the bridge on January 28, 2021.

The state has the bridge listed as “ functionally obsolete” meaning West Winterberry Bridge does not meet current road standards.

The bridge was built in 1967.

After talking to over a dozen people tonight, whether they were riding a bike, driving in a car, or walking over the bridge — everyone wanted to know why they couldn't go over it. We've learned that there was already a project in place but now that project is delayed, leading us here, to an emergency closure, at the brink of collapse.

Tonight we learned from Marco Island's City Manager that a plan was put in place last year to replace the bridge altogether, sending the plan to FDOT for review and approval. The City is still waiting on that approval before they can actually start the bidding process for the project. Meanwhile, people in the area have been telling Fox 4 that they hope it gets fixed sooner rather than later since it's an important yet busy road.

According to FDOT, the post-tensioning system has come loose making the bridge susceptible to collapse. In the meantime, until repairs can be made, the bridge will remain closed to all vehicular traffic, bicycles, and pedestrians until further notice.

Marco Island also erected signs in the area while the bridge was closed. FDOT said at the time, "anticipate delays in the area and plan for alternative routes."