Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

FDOT: 2 Downtown Jacksonville Bridges 'Obsolete;' Several 'Structurally Deficient'

Denise Cox
The Florida Department of Transportation rated the John Alsop Bridge (Main Street) as functionally obsolete, meaning it is no longer adequate for its job.

Updated: 4:45 p.m.: 

About 40 Duval County bridges have been rated “structurally deficient” or “functionally obsolete” by the Florida Department of Transportation.  

Inspectors find issues with two major bridges going into downtown Jacksonville: the Matthews and the Main Street Bridge, but DOT spokesman Ron Tittle says the “obsolete” label does not mean they’re unsafe.

For example, the Main Street Bridge does not comply with federal requirements for the size of its on-ramps.

“It’s obsolete, but it’s not deficient. That means it’s still functional. We just recently did steel grating. We replaced sidewalks. We replaced some of the guardrails on it. But the structure is still good,” he says.  

He says upgrades to the bridge’s electrical system will begin in April.

All bridges receiving the downgraded ratings will be inspected more often. And “deficient” ones must be replaced within  six years, he says. 

Original story below:

Two of Jacksonville's main bridges into downtown are considered functionally obsolete by the Florida Department of Transportation.

The John E. Mathews Bridge and the John Alsop Bridge (Main Street) were listed as functionally obsolete in the DOT's state bridge information report released this week.

The designation does not mean that the bridges are unsafe or structurally unsound. It is given to describe a bridge that has a design that is no longer functionally adequate for its task.

The status could be given to a bridge that doesn't have enough lanes for its traffic flow, has a drawbridge on a congested highway, does not have space for emergency shoulders or other similar issues.

The Main Street Bridge was given a 47.4 sufficiency rating (out of 100) but had an 87 health rating. The Mathews Bridge had a 44.1 SR and an 87.75 HR.

The Isaiah D. Hart Bridge had a 43.8 SR but was given a 92.52 health rating.

Other bridges of note were the Napoleon Broward Bridge (Dames Point), which had a 82.4 SR and a 94 in health, the Fuller Warren (80 SR/99.15 HR), the St. Elmo Acosta Bridge (94 SR/77 HR) and the Henry H. Buckman Bridge, which was in the 90s for both sufficiency and health.

Several smaller bridges around town were designated as structurally deficient, meaning they have one or more structural defects that need attention.

Those bridges include the Ray Green Bridge over the Trout River, the Sisters Creek Bridge and the Simpson Creek Bridge.

Copyright 2016 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP