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Stuart Issues State of Emergency, as FDOT Discovers “Severe Corrosion” on Roosevelt Bridge


Transportation officials said Thursday afternoon that part of the Roosevelt Bridge has “severe corrosion” and ruptured steel tendons. For that reason, they are now warning people not to go “anywhere close” to the bridge, after chunks of concrete fell from it earlier in this week.

In addition, Stuart Mayor Mike Meier declared a local state of emergency for the city on Thursday. That declaration, which is based on the dangerous condition of the bridge, “provides for the performance of public works and taking necessary actions to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community,” according to city spokesperson Ben Hogarth.

The bridge could stay closed for a week, possibly longer, officials say.

Inspectors began in-depth testing of the bridge on Thursday.

In a pair of tweets around 2:30 p.m., the Florida Department of Transportation said, “latest inspections and calculations show that the first span of the southbound bridge has severe corrosion resulting in steel tendons that support the bridge being ruptured.”

They went on to say that “the first span of the southbound bridge will need to be temporarily supported as soon as possible in an abundance of caution. Nobody should be under, over or anywhere close to this segment. We will be fencing off the entire area immediately.”

Ground penetrating radar equipment is being used to look inside the bridge to check for problem areas.

Those test results will help engineers determine how to best repair the damage, FDOT said.

Officials say there is no timetable for how long the bridge will be closed.



Stuart officials are now saying there is no “immediate risk of collapse” of the Roosevelt Bridge after chunks of concrete fell and structural damage was found on both sides forcing the closure of the entire bridge until further notice.

Yesterday, the Coast Guard and Florida Department of Transportation reported that there was a risk of imminent collapse but still left the northbound side open alternating traffic.

Thursday morning, all north and southbound lanes of the bridge, along with Old Dixie Highway which runs underneath the bridge, are now closed until further notice while engineers inspect and repair the damage.

The Coast Guard also halted all shipping traffic underneath the bridge.

Police recommend drivers use Hutchinson Island, Palm City or Sewalls Point to enter Stuart from the north.

The turnpike is also an alternate for motorists, and the tolls have been lifted in the area.