JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Due to the effects of Hurricane Irma, the Browns Creek Bridge has been closed on Heckscher Drive in Jacksonville for emergency repairs to the bridge approaches, the Florida Department of Transportation said.
Northbound traffic will be detoured on State Road 105 South to I-295 West to I-95 North. From there, driverswill travel east on State Road 200 to A1A (State Road 105). Southbound drivers will be detoured to A1A North (State Road 105) to State Road 200 West to I-95 South.
Drivers should expect the bridge to remain closed for approximately one week, weather permitting, FDOT said.
All other Jacksonville-area bridges that were closed due to high winds and flooding related to Hurricane Irma have reopened, including the Buckman and Dames Point bridges, as well as the Intracoastal Waterway bridges in Duval County.
The Acosta and Hart bridges opened Monday, as well, and the Mathews Bridge and Main Street Bridge reopened in both directions about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
All of Jacksonville's bridges across the Intracoastal Waterway closed about 8:20 p.m. Sunday before reopening on Monday.
The Dames Point Bridge was closed just before 12:30 a.m. Monday; the Buckman at 1 a.m.; the Hart and Mathews bridges closed about 2:15 a.m.; Main Street Bridge just before 7:30 a.m. Police and the Florida Highway Patrol were under orders to closed the bridges with sustained winds reached 40 mph.
The Shands Bridge -- State Road 16 connecting Clay with St. Johns County -- reopened about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Just before 8 p.m. Sunday, most of the major bridges in St. Johns County were closed due to high winds. The Vilano Bridge, Bridge of Lions, 312 Bridge, State Road 206 Bridge and Palm Valley bridge reopened at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
The Matanzas Bridge and Julington Creek Bridges remained open through the storm.
In Clay County, the following roads and bridges are closed:
- Blanding Blvd. at County Road 218
- Thunder Road at Eds Court
- County Road 215 at Primrose
- Henley Road at Black Creek Bridge
In Flagler County, the bridges over the Intracoastal Waterway will close at midnight and will remain closed until weather conditions improve.
“We have to close the bridges for safety reasons once wind speeds reach 45 mph, which we anticipate will happen at midnight,” said Flagler County Deputy Fire Chief Joe King. “It is important for residents to know we won’t have the ability to send out our first responders should individuals need assistance."
Further to the south, the major bridges in Volusia County were closed shortly after 7 p.m.
If sustained winds exceed 40 mph, police or the Florida Highway Patrol will shut down bridges.
News4Jax chief meteorologist John Gaughan expects sustained winds in Jacksonville to reach 40 mph on Sunday night through Monday morning, with higher gusts. Winds speeds will be greater in north central Florida as Irma tracks north near the Interstate 75 corridor.
Wind speeds are monitored by sensors on the bridges and conditions may get too dangerous for drivers. That means some people living east of the Intracoastal Waterway bridges may be stranded for some time.
Officials said Sunday that they anticipate closing all three bridges over the Intracoastal Waterway into the beaches communities at the same time, but they have not given a timetable for when that might happen.
Glynn County, Georgia, officials said that the Sydney Lanier Bridge would close at noon on Sunday in anticipation of high winds.
More than 1,700 FHP Troopers are working 12-hour shifts. Motorists can call *FHP (*347) to request roadside assistance.
INTERACTIVE: Map of current traffic conditions
Tools to help travel
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is urging motorists to use the department’s real-time traffic information tools to ease their evacuation. Traffic can be heavy at times during a hurricane evacuation and we appreciate the public’s patience. The following real- time traffic information tools are available:
- Florida 511 - FDOT’s official source for traffic information is Florida 511, or www.fl511.com. This website provides real-time traffic information on crashes, incidents, construction, congestion, road closures and detours, and other urgent alerts.
- Traffic Count Information - Real-time evacuation data for Hurricane Irma on state roads. A summary of selected traffic counter data for state roads is available for review at www.fdot.gov/traffic.pdf. This data is updated hourly.
- Waze - FDOT and Waze have a data sharing partnership to enhance each partner’s ability to provide needed traffic information to the traveling public. Waze (www.waze.com) is a free navigation app that uses information from millions of drivers to navigate traffic in real-time.
Similar precautions have been taken at various construction projects across the region.