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Repairs to 17th Street bridge now won’t start until December

STORY BY LISA ZAHNER (Week of November 12, 2020)

Structural repairs to the 17th Street bridge that were set to begin on Nov. 2, rerouting traffic for about six months, have now been delayed until Dec. 4.

Two days after the work was scheduled to commence, Vero city officials had heard nothing from the Florida Department of Transportation about why the crews had not shown up. The Vero Beach Police Department was prepared to assist with traffic safety and had notified local residents via social media that all traffic would be run over the eastbound side of the bridge, with one lane traveling eastbound and one lane traveling westbound.

FDOT has confirmed that repairs to the westbound side of the bridge would take about three months, then the eastbound side would be closed for repairs for three months and all traffic would be run over the newly repaired westbound side.

The FDOT district office could not provide a reason for the delay, but Dan Rojas of DBI Services, the contractor on the project, said “we were waiting on revisions on plans and approvals.”

Rojas sent the city a revised work schedule saying that on Nov. 30, the Monday after Thanksgiving, DBI will begin prepping the road for the detour, installing lane separators and removing and replacing the existing striping on the eastbound side of the bridge.

 The repair project is the final phase of planned work to repair cracks in two of the cement spans of the bridge – repairs that could not be put off until after Vero’s tourist season, FDOT said.

This delay means that drivers will experience detours until early June.