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Still Unclear When Mathews Bridge Will Reopen


Emergency repairs on the Mathews Bridge have been ongoing for about a week but it's not yet been determined if the bridge can partially open next week.

Plans are to open two lanes and allow westbound traffic in the morning and eastbound in the afternoon.

Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Goldman says after the emergency repairs are completed they will still need to check if the bridge is safe.

He says work now is focusing on putting platforms under the roadway and demolishing the damaged section. Officials are waiting for some repair materials to be delivered. He says this week's rain has put work a little behind but the bridge is still expected top be fully open in time for the Florida-Georgia game.

Meanwhile it's been a traffic headache for Jacksonville drivers whether they were using the Mathews or not — 56,000 drivers had to find an alternate route when the bridge closed.

Michelle Gilliam says it now takes her an hour to drop off and pick up her son at his school in Arlington.

"I've tried different routes. I've tried Beach Blvd, I've tried the Dames Point Bridge, but unfortunately the Hart and it's backups are the best option," she said.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.