• Brevard County officials believe Irma damage may have imperiled bridge

    By: Michael Lopardi


    MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. - Brevard County leaders are warning that a bridge could collapse due to storm damage from Hurricane Irma. 

    From the road, the bridge over Sykes Creek, on Sea Ray Drive, on Merritt Island looks fine. But there are new concerns about the pilings—which suffered erosion and scouring during Irma. 

    “This storm produced so much rain that it really put a strain on the storm water management system and I'm sure that Sykes Creek is part of the storm water management system,” said Tom Daley, who lives on Merritt Island. 

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    And there’s another concern: A pipe that runs along the bridge supplies water to local communities, including the barrier island. 

    Daley said some people have gone days without water. 

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    “You know, water's a necessity so it'll impact people personally and the economy around here,” he said. 

    The bridge is currently closed, and county officials are trying to work up an action plan. 

    "If it's possible, is to shore it up -- emergency corrective action to keep it stable. Make sure that it can withstand traffic and all that to a point where we can plan it out and make sure we do a replacement on the bridge,” said Jim Barfield, Brevard County Commissioner. 

    Even if the pipe were damaged by a collapse, the city of Cocoa says its system could still deliver water to the barrier island, but large commercial customers may have to cut back on usage to maintain pressure. 

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    Replacing the bridge could cost up to $3 million. 

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