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“Deficient” Bridges Abound In South Florida

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CBS4 Investigates
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After last year’s tragic bridge collapse in Minneapolis, many South Floridians asked if something like that could happen here.

CBS4 I-Team investigator Stephen Stock has looked into South Florida’s ‘troubled bridges’ for the last 5 months and what he found was shocking.

Bridges like the drawbridge on Miami Avenue in downtown Miami which drivers and pedestrians pass over on a daily basis unaware that it has been labeled “structurally deficient.”

“Wow! I wouldn’t have know that until you told me,” said Armando Coroneo.

“For starters there needs to be awareness,” added Jennifer Zighelboim, “drivers drive over these bridges all the time.”

In addition to the Miami Avenue bridge, CBS4’s I-Team found 45 other bridges in South Florida labeled by engineers as “structurally deficient,” the same technical term used to describe the I-35 bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis last August.

“If you’d have asked the Minneapolis guy that very same question the day before the accident he would have said “you have nothing to worry about.” I don’t think you have to worry about,” said state Department of Transportation expert Frank Guyamier.

While state transportation officials say the ‘deficient’ rating does not mean these bridges are unsafe, they admit that when a bridge gets to certain point, action needs to be taken before disaster strikes.

Bridges that carry the “structurally deficient” label can be found all across South Florida; from crossing the Dolphin Expressway to spanning more than a mile of open water near Bahia Honda Key; serving as the only way in or out of Key West. From neighborhood bridges in Broward County to the Bear Cut of Rickenbacker Causeway; bridges labeled “structurally deficient” carry an average total of 312 thousand vehicles every day.

Click Here for a full list of “structurally deficient” bridges in South Florida.

(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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