By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA
More than two dozen major Florida roadways remained closed or restricted due to flooding, downed power lines, debris and other problems caused by Hurricane Irma, which made landfall Sept. 10. Elsewhere, regular road and bridge construction is slowly returning to normal.
As of Sept. 14, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) listed these trouble spots:
- Multiple stretches of U.S. 27 and U.S. 441 in Duval and Alachua counties, home of Jacksonville and Gainesville, respectively.
- U.S. 1 in the Florida Keys, though all 42 bridges on the 113-mile stretch between the mainland and Key West were found safe after inspection.
- Several state roads in Charlotte and DeSoto counties on the peninsula’s southwest coast between Fort Meyers and Sarasota.
FDOT said that Interstate 75 on the northern border of Alachua County would remain open. Earlier in the week, officials carefully monitored the gushing waters of the Santa Fe River below a highway bridge near mile marker 408.
Four days before Irma’s landfall, FDOT ordered road and bridge contractors to halt their work in order to secure materials and equipment. The agency Sept. 14 lifted the order for those projects “in locations that will not impact returning motorists or restoration efforts.”
ARTBA members in the state are already working overtime on recovery operations.