Officials still don't know when Mathews Bridge will reopen

Published On: Oct 09 2013 03:49:49 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 09 2013 11:44:43 PM EDT
Damage to Mathews Bridge
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Florida Department of Transportation officials met Wednesday about repairs to the Mathews Bridge and are still unclear when it will reopen.

Spokesman Mike Goldman said he cannot yet say if the bridge will be allowed open one-way after temporary repairs are complete next week, or when the repairs from a ship hitting the span will be complete.

The traffic on Atlantic Boulevard is giving the phrase 'a snail's pace' even more meaning for the thousands of drivers stuck on it each day as they're re-routed from the closed down bridge.

"It's not good. It's taking me an hour just to go two miles to get to two yards," said one commuter.

"It's horrible. Oh boy. Okay, so it's going to make it hard to get the kids back and forth," said another frustrated driver.

Goldman said some things have slowed the repair process down, including high winds and weather that has made it tough for workers to get the temporary repairs done.

"I think it's pretty bad and I just have to go right there too, and it takes me 25 minutes to make the u-turn," another driver said.

Aside from that, Goldman said the work is going to take time, and officials will not open the bridge to traffic until it is completely safe. 

The contract includes a $50,000-a-day incentive to try to work complete before Florida-Georgia game on Nov. 2.