Environmental group wants to enhance Wekiwa Springs State Park


FLORIDA - An environmental group is looking to enhance the Wekiwa Springs State Park, but it may cost taxpayers tens of thousands to do it.

The group is looking to tear down a bridge built more than 50 years ago over where the Wekiwa River was meant to connect Seminole County to new development that was never built in Orange County.

The Wekiwa River is central Florida's most revered natural resource. It has lush greenery, crystal clear water and is home to Florida's native wildlife. The area serves as an escape, but there's one problem: an abandoned bridge connecting one side to the other has been sitting there over one part of the Wekiwa River for more than 50 years.

On the Seminole County side, you can see a bunch of weeds and over growth leading up to the bridge's beginning concrete road.road.<rewrite in third person

"I call it the bridge to nowhere, because it doesn't go anywhere," said Joe Cameron.

Cameron remembers when the bridge was built in 1959.

Now, it serves as a landmark for kayakers who paddle beneath it along the river, but it was supposed to connect Seminole County over the Wekiwa River to Orange County where new development was being talked about back in the '50s.

The development became a thing of the past once the state bought the land and made it the Wekiwa State Park.

"We have to have someone take responsibility for it," said District 2 Commissioner Fred Brummer.

Brummer is on the Wekiwa River Wild and Scenic River Management Advisory Committee and said he is trying to come up with a plan to remove the bridge.

"The best bet is to take this bridge down to make this more scenic for the river," said Brummer.

Beauty isn't cheap. Neither the counties nor the state is claiming to own the bridge. They don't want to pay to tear it down and neither does Cameron.

"They have nothing else to do. They'll probably take it down. They have to spend money to cut it away a lot of concrete there. It's just a waste of money," said Cameron.

It could cost a couple hundred thousand dollars to tear down the bridge.

A local business, Wekiwa Island, is proposing turning the two-lane bridge into a high-end camp site with several tents.

No word on when officials plan to propose his idea to the state and who will pay for the campsite.