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Mathews Bridge Construction To Continue Through 2014

City of Jacksonville

First Coast commuters can expect construction on the Mathews Bridge to continue at least until the end of the year.  The bridge has been under construction for almost two years.

"Frankly, what's happened is once they started the work, they found repairs that were needed that were not shown in the plans," said Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Goldman.

Corrosion found inside the bridge was one of the main unexpected problems, he said.

So far, structural repairs and painting costs almost $23 million.

With the high price of repairs, it would seem to make more sense to build a new bridge, but Goldman said that wouldn't be cost effective.

"There was a detailed study done, and they concluded it just wasn't financially feasible to replace a bridge," Goldman said. 

But the Mathews isn't the only bridge in Jacksonville receiving attention.

"We regularly inspect our bridges, and they are inspected at the water level, the ground level, the tops, and we had a good record in the Jacksonville area of bridge maintenance," he said.

The Associated Press reported this week that according to federal data, Florida has some of the safest bridges in the nation.  

As for the Mathews Bridge, expect continued closures on nights and weekends.