Audit shows dozens of Orange County bridges, walkways weren’t inspected for years

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A newly-released audit shows dozens of Orange County bridges and walkways weren’t inspected for years.

The audit found that bridges were not being inspected, and when issues were found, they were not prioritized.

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The audit also revealed that there was missing documentation on whether things were being done, and that routine maintenance had not been conducted in three years.

Comptroller Phil Diamond ordered the audit to take a look at what was done with Orange County bridges, after the 2018 bridge collapse at FlU in South Florida that killed six people.

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He said 18 of 21 pedestrian bridges were never inspected by a structural engineer.

The audit found that pedestrian bridges were getting looked at by county staff for things like faulty boards or cracks, but not inspected to see if they were structurally sound.

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The audit shows that even when inspections were done by the Florida Department of Transportation on three bridges, the county had not tracked if they were repaired.

As more inspections are being done, Diamond said nothing major so far has been found that would indicate a collapse.

“We can’t necessarily say, ‘well you should inspect every year or every two years,’ We just know it’s not never,” Diamond said.

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Inspections found both the Bates and Buck bridges to be functionally obsolete. But since then, Buck Road has had repairs and no longer holds that title.

Some repairs and upgrades will take time and money, but for now, the county feels confident the bridges are OK and has hired a structural engineer of its own to oversee the projects.

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Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler, WFTV.com

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.