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Mathews Bridge repairs 'hope' to be done by end of the year

12:39 PM, Sep 10, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It was the first high-rise bridge in Florida. Now 65,000-70,000 cars travel across the Mathews Bridge each day which connects Arlington to downtown Jacksonville.

In September of 2011, the construction began and along with it came closures and commute congestion.

So when will it be done?

"We hope to get done by the end of the year," said Mike Goldman with the Florida Department of Transportation.

The completion date may change depending on weather problems, special events downtown or the finding of problems.  Goldman says the contractors technically have until March of 2014 to get all the work done.

Goldman says the project is far more than just a repainting, it is also steel repairs, replacing bolts and fixing problems the crews are finding as they work.

"We would just rather have it done right than go back and with a second crew and fix things they should have caught on this contract," Goldman says.

The closures on weekends could get a bit longer as the completion date nears in order to give the crews more time to work.

So while the closures may be an inconvenient for drivers right now, in the long run the project will help thousands of people get safely across the St. Johns River every day.

Once the work is complete, there will be a project on the fenders on the bridge.  That work will all be done at the water level and should not impact traffic.

First Coast News

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