ORLANDO, Fla. - After cracks on a pier that supports it delayed its opening for months, a new Interstate 4 bridge over Colonial Drive and Garland Avenue will open to traffic on Jan. 7, the Florida Department of Transportation said.
Workers started removing temporary support structures under the new bridge on Friday to prepare to open the bridge to traffic.
FDOT says new bridge with cracked pier can finally open to traffic
Months later, no solution for cracks that shut down brand new I-4 bridge
Report details how new I-4 bridge with cracks was built
Report: FDOT knew of 17 structural cracks on I-4 support beam as early…
Watch: Cracks on I-4 bridge in downtown Orlando
Back in April, WFTV’s radio partner News 96.5 WDBO was first to report cracks in the pier supporting the bridge. The bridge is part of the I-4 Ultimate project and is designed to give drivers better access to I-4 eastbound.
The bridge was supposed to open earlier this year but was delayed after reports showed 17 cracks on the pier, Eyewitness News discovered.
"We believe that we found through our testing that the bridge is structurally sound and right now we are just working on serviceability repairs," said Mike Shannon, the District 5 Florida Department of Transportation secretary, in November.
FDOT officials said Friday they were still working with the contractor on what repairs will be made to the pier. They said there's no question whether or not the bridge is safe. The only question they have is whether it will last the full 75 years that it is supposed to.
Any potential repairs, they said, could help increase its lifespan.
.@MyFDOT_CFL tells me it remains convinced of the bridge’s safety. The question has been and continues to be its longevity/sustainability. The agency wants it to last 75 years, which may require repairs. #WFTV https://t.co/OVmxh9PZZq— Field Sutton (@FSuttonWFTV) December 28, 2018
The bridge has been supported by what @MyFDOT_CFL calls a temporary shoring structure ever since the cracks showed up. The agency has said all along this was precautionary and that the bridge is safe. #WFTV pic.twitter.com/VHO1wMO2HU— Field Sutton (@FSuttonWFTV) December 28, 2018
The bridge is held up by this one large support pier, which @news965wdbo noticed cracks in back in April. It’s been wired with sensors ever since as part of a safety evaluation. #WFTV pic.twitter.com/iWisknMv55— Field Sutton (@FSuttonWFTV) December 28, 2018
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