MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – An iconic Miami Causeway, in need of repairs due to structural problems, is temporarily suspending the city’s bus service.
Over the weekend, Miami-Dade County put weight restrictions in place for vehicular traffic on the span of the Venetian Causeway between downtown and the toll plaza.
The problem, according to the county, is deterioration of the top layer of asphalt after years of being battered by the bay waters underneath.
Several weeks ago, a portion cracked under the weight of a county bus tire.
Engineers noticed other concerns over the weekend which prompted immediate action.
The suspension affects Route A, which crosses the Venetian bridges and islands from the Omni area in Miami to the Lincoln Road area.
Also affected is the South Beach Local (Route 123). Buses will no longer pick up passengers on Belle Isle. SBLocal users will have to go over the bridge to the bus stop at Purdy Avenue and Dade Boulevard. Route 123 schedule remains the same.
The particular part of the bridge in-question is next to another area that recently underwent emergency repairs.
Further complicating the problem is the fact that the Venetian Causeway is designated as a historic structure which means repairs can be complicated so the original bridge remains architecturally and structurally protected.
Another issue is the cost of the repairs which is estimated to be more than $6 million.
In the meantime, the county is only able to apply a temporary fix of steel plates to the problem areas, as major funding for a permanent solution has not yet been designated.