Report highlights deficient bridges. How many are in northeast Florida?

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter, Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - While Florida rates well in a review of the nation's bridges, five rated structurally deficient in northeast Florida are among the 25 most-heavily traveled in the state.

Those five are among 265 -- or 2.1 percent -- of Florida's 12,355 bridges that were classified as structurally deficient in a report released by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. Eight of of those 265 bridges are on interstate highways.

Interactive map of most-heavily traveled deficient bridges (below)
Interactive map of all 409 bridges in Duval County

The bridges are among 693 the state has identified as in need of repairs, with a cost estimate of $1.7 billion.

The study ranked Florida 41st in the nation for having the most deficient bridges. Iowa has the most deficient bridges in the U.S. and Nevada had the fewest. But as the Florida Department of Transportation pointed out, if you looked at those state rankings by percentage of deficient bridges rather than by absolute number, Florida would rank the third lowest in the nation.

FDOT's Troy Roberts also wanted the public to know that structurally deficient does not imply that the bridge is unsafe. 

"A structurally deficient bridge, when left open to traffic, typically requires maintenance and repair to remain in service and eventual rehabilitation or replacement to address these deficiencies," Roberts wrote in an email to News4Jax. 

The ARTBA report was released just before President Donald Trump was expected to address the country's aging infrastructure during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

According to the report, if all of America's deficient bridges were placed end to end, they would stretch from New York City to Miami. At the current rate of repair or replacement, it would take 37 years to fix them all.

Northeast Florida's most-heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges

Point to bridge on map to read details

  • Both the northbound and southbound I-95 bridges over the Nassau River, built in 1967, were found to be deteriorating and embankment protections have been severely undermined by the river. FDOT said a repair and rehabilitation project is scheduled to begin on those bridges in 2022.
  • The I-10 bridge crossing CSX railroad tracks built in 1960 was also found to be deficient. Work to replace that bridge is already underway.
  • The substructure of the bridge at Lakeside Drive and the Ortega River Canal was found to be in poor condition. News4Jax could see parts of the bridge crumbling. This is a city of Jacksonville bridge and there are current plans to replace it.
  • The Lem Turner Road bridge over the Trout River was reported to have bank-protection and river-control devices that are failing. FDOT has a repair and rehabilitation project scheduled to begin next year. 
  • The Ponce de Leon Bridge over Oyster Creek in St. Augustine, built in 1958, was also found to be deficient. FDOT is scheduled to replace that bridge in 2022.
  • The U.S. 301 bridge over Alligator Creek in Starke was also one of Florida's 25 most-heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges. That bridge is scheduled to be replaced in 2020.

Copyright 2018 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.