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Cracks found in Jacksonville infrastructure

Officials call for more funding

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Though traffic is running smoothly now, a large hole opened up on I-95 Thursday afternoon that caused headaches and heavy backups throughout the evening as many motorists were making their way over the Myrtle Avenue overpass.

The hole was spotted Thursday by a city worker, and Florida Department of Transportation crews worked to repair the area for over five hours. 

Another hole, this time on I-10 near the 301, also caused traffic delays and backups, and had to be dealt with on Friday.

"All concrete structures on an ongoing basis continue to deteriorate. It's still concrete and those things happen. They always monitor these things," Ron Tittle of the Florida Department of Transportation said.

The overpass on I-95 at Myrtle Avenue was built in 1955 and Tittle said that bridge inspections are up to date, most recently in April of 2014, with the next one not scheduled until 2016.

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"Typically, some of these things may not show up in inspections. As far as concrete coming up, that could've been a vehicle that was going across and something hit it which caused some of that to crack loose," Tittle said.

According to the latest inspection report, the I-95 overpass at Myrtle is functionally obsolete. That means it is structurally safe, but might not be up to today's standards for height, lane width or clearances, similar to older houses that might not be up to hurricane standards. The bridge in Friday's incident at I-10 and 301 is inspected more often than every two years.

"This one is structurally deficient, meaning that it is scheduled for replacement. It has inspections every three months now. We increased it because we saw things to keep a closer eye on," Tittle said

Friday U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown called on the Transportation Committee to arrange for more funding to improve roadways. She said Congress is not making transportation a priority and infrastructure is suffering because of it.

"We have not done the investments that we need in the infrastructure," Brown said. "The gasoline taxes will not do it. We must do these investments or we're going to find other bridges to collapse."

Tittle says that Northeast Florida is in good shape for now, but needs more funding long term.