MIDDLEBURG, Fla. - Damage left by flooding after Hurricane Irma that forced Clay County to close the County Road 218 bridge over Black Creek will take months to repair.
Leware Construction Company, of Leesburg, Florida, which was hired to repair the bridge, anticipates it will complete repairs by Dec. 23.
The bridge was closed after an underwater bridge inspection found potential safety issues.
Drivers have experienced heavy delays on detours, including on Clay County's school bus routes.
County officials recommended motorists detour onto State Road 16. A News4Jax crew drove the detour route, which took 20 minutes, instead of the usual three minutes, to get vehicles back onto County Road 218.
The 29 school bus routes affected by the bridge closure provide service for 11 schools:
- Middleburg Elementary
- Wilkinson Elementary
- Wilkinson Junior High
- Lake Asbury Junior High
- Lake Asbury Elementary
- Fleming Island Elementary
- Ridgeview High School
- Shadowlawn Elementary
- Clay High School
- Rideout Elementary
- Coppergate Elementary
School officials have advised all Middleburg High School bus riders to arrive at stops 30 minutes ahead of schedule to account for delays because of the bridge closure.
News4Jax found a 2016 National Bridge Inventory report on the bridge that rated it functionally obsolete. The inventory found minor deteriorating of structural elements, substructure and superstructure. A 2010 report proposed rehabilitation at an estimated cost of $1.3 million.
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