US 19 and Gulf to Bay on track to reopen

Clearwater, FL -- The intersection at US 19 and Gulf to Bay Boulevard is still closed and will likely remain that way for several more hours on Wednesday, as crews work to stabilize a sagging overpass.

The old bridge, which was already closed off to traffic and due for demolition, damaged the tops of two tractor trailers that scraped its underside on Tuesday afternoon, shutting down traffic in all directions.

It's a situation that you don't see every day, so 10 News went to the Florida Department of Transportation looking for answers.

"We're not sure what happened -- if the truck clipped it first [or] if it started to sag first -- they're investigating all of that right now," said FDOT Public Information Officer Kris Carson.

Carson said that the bridges get inspections regularly, and moreso when they are under construction.

"All of our bridges, including our roadways, are inspected every two years. This [area] was under construction, so we have inspectors out there constantly," said Carson.

The overpass had been out of commission for the past several weeks and, according to FDOT, was set to be taken down next week.

"We were going to do it over a period of four nights late at night, when traffic would not be affected. But obviously due to the incident, we had to expedite the process," said Carson.

Carson told us the investigation is still in the early stages and FDOT still isn't sure of what caused the bridge to bend.

"We have had bridge incidents before, but I've never heard of a bridge sagging like this... if that's indeed what happened,"said Carson.

Carson expects the intersection will be back open by Wednesday evening.


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