No money to fix 'functionally obsolete' bridges

Fort Lauderdale says it doesn't have $17M to replace worse bridges

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The City of Fort Lauderdale says it doesn't have the $17 million required to replace five bridges the Florida Department of Transportation deemed "functionally obsolete."

The inspection reports, filed in 2011, don't specifically say what's wrong with the bridges, which is exempt from public record for homeland security reasons.

Engineering experts said "functionally obsolete" typically means vehicle lanes are too narrow, the bridges don't have sidewalks, or the railings aren't high enough.

"There are no public safety concerns raised by FDOT for these bridges and their structural integrity is fine," said city spokesman Chaz Adams.

Adams said that the city doesn't have the $17 million to replace the bridges. Despite cracked concrete and exposed rebar seen on some of the structures, there's no rush to find that funding.

Adams said the city has received money from the state for bridge repair, which is being used to replace bridges in worse shape.

"We'll its a prioritization system and we prioritize bridges that need replacement and we've been doing that," he said. "It is in our community investment plan, these bridges are slated for replacement, we're just waiting for the funding to do that construction."

The five Fort Lauderdale bridges identified as "functionally obsolete" by the FDOT are as follows:

  • Laguna Terrace, 147 feet north of Lucille Drive
  • West Lake Drive, 150 feet south of Lucille Drive,
  • East Las Olas Boulevard, 0.3 miles east of U.S.1
  • Castle Harbor Isle, 0.1 miles west of NE 34th Avenue
  • NE 41st, 0.1 west of NE 34th Avenue

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