Disabled drawbridge creates problem for Daytona Beach drivers

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. —

Drivers in Daytona Beach won't be able to use a popular drawbridge until at least next Monday.

The Orange Avenue Bridge has been closed since Friday when one of its electrical boxes failed.

That's just the latest problem with the aging bridge.

After the electrical problem, the bridge had to be raised manually to allow boats to pass.. 

Officials said it has to remain open because it's a busy time of year on the Intracoastal Waterway as boaters travel south.

The bridge usually opens and closes anywhere from six to 17 times a day for boats on the Intracoastal Waterway, according to a Volusia County representative.

The bridge is one of two drawbridges left in Daytona Beach that cross the Halifax River.
It is scheduled to be replaced by a high rise bridge.

The new bridge project is planned to start in 2014 and will cost $48 million.

"I think they should put a new bridge in. It would be better," said one driver.

In 2009, a malfunctioning electric motor closed the Orange Avenue Bridge down for several days.

The county said the bridge costs $300,000 a year to maintain.

Many of the parts for the bridge have to be custom made because it is decades old.