Sisters Creek drawbridge to be replaced

Construction of highrise fixed bridge to begin in 2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Drivers who use the Sisters Creek drawbridge on the Northside may have noticed some cracks or damaged areas.

Florida Department of Transportation officials say the bridge is structurally deficient, so now they're working to fix it.

Right now the bridge is considered safe, but a few years down the road, it may be dangerous for drivers. That's why FDOT will replace the drawbridge.

Charlie Dopson, fishes off the bridge, said Sisters Creek is the place to go for those who want to cast out. People use the bridge for fishing and for travel, but the bridge is aging and needs repair, transportation officials say.

"It's a nice place, but the bridge is sort of old," Dopson said. "It would be nice if they build a new one."

That's the plan. For $52.6 million in federal funds, FDOT will build a new highrise fixed bridge just north of the current one. The new bridge will be at a minimum 65 feet high. When construction on it is complete, workers will tear the old one down, eliminating the need for a traffic detour and minimizing any headaches for locals.

"If they build a new one, I will be going on the new bridge (to fish), too," Dopson said.

The Kingfish Tournament, held at the marina near the bridge, will not be affected by construction, as crews will not work during the event.

Construction is set to begin in 2015, but could be moved up to as early as next summer if funds become available sooner.

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