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Florida DOT releases Mathews Bridge damage update

12:37 PM, Jul 2, 2012   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Beryl's Backlash: Photos from after the storm
Photo courtesy Mike Goldman, FDOT.

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Transportation released an update to the damage sustained by the Mathews Bridge during Tropical Storm Beryl.

The FDOT found that during Beryl, 16% of the overhead temporary platform of the Mathews Bridge was damaged. The platform is being used by the contractor to repaint and repair the bridge.

The same type of platform was used to paint and rehabilitate two major bridges on the Texas gulf coast. The Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge in Corpus Christi and the MLK Memorial Bride in Port Arthur.  The FDOT said during the projects, those two bridges had an indirect hit by category two Hurricane Alex in June 2010, Tropical Depression Two a week later and Tropical Storm Hermine in September, according to a news release from the FDOT. The damage to the platform system was "minimal."

After Beryl damaged the Mathews Bridge, a team of 18 people consisting of FDOT construction and bridge maintenance personnel, contractor representatives and engineers who designed the platform system reviewed the project to see if any enhancements could be made to the platform system.

The team recommended the contractor take additional steps to secure the temporary bridge platform when winds are high. The contractor installed additional cables and anchoring clamps to provide wind resistance for the platform in addition to safety measures already in place. By adding the additional cables, the contractor increased the number of platform attachments by 67%.  Cross cables were also added to the top of the platform, which provides more wind resistance.

The temporary platforms are designed to enable construction crews to work on the bridge and not have to close traffic lanes or cause detours. The platforms are also designed to break away without damaging the bridge if there are hurricane force winds.

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