WASTE WATCH: A million dollar bridge that hardly nobody will use
Updated: Wednesday, July 30 2014, 07:40 PM CDT
It's a million dollar bridge that many of us will probably *never use.
Our media partners at northescambia.com published a Tax Watch story about a state project to replace a *rarely* used bridge near 99 and Pineville Road.
The Department of Transportation says about 90 people use that bridge that goes over a creek in Enon.
That's near McDavid.
The 1.1 million dollar project will pay for demolition, and construction of a replacement bridge as well as a temporary pass.
It may sound like a bogus project but as Channel Three's Anthony Pura shows us, in today's Wastewatch report keeping the bridge open could be a life or death situation for some.
See the wear and tear underneath this bridge. This is the "Brushy Creek Bridge" on Pineville Road. The Florida Department of Transpiration says it needs to be replaced. It's been deemed structurally unsound.
It's just a matter of time before the heavy machinery brings down this decades old bridge.
Right next to it-- crews add the finishing touches to a temporary road over Brushy Creek.
Bob McCullough lives nearby and says it will save him time on his trips.
"To go down to the recreational park, to go down to the Perdido River, to go fishing."
He's one of a small number people who use the bridge
According to the Florida Department of Transportation-- only about 90 cars use it daily.
Some people like Walnut Hill Barber Kenneth Henley, can't wrap his head around why the state would spend more than a million dollars for the sake of so few drivers.
There's so many other things that money can be used for. Just another example of waste from Washington to local government.
The bridge on Pineville Road connects communities surrounded mostly by woods and scattered homes.
Kenneth Henley, Walnut Hill Resident
It's a good old country road, but when you start spending that kind of money it's useless. Its not something I would consider a priority."
But state road officials say if a bridge is in use, it has to be replaced when it's deemed unsafe.
Not only that-- Pineville Road is a county road and Escambia County wants to keep it *open* during construction.
That's because even though the traffic count maybe low, closing the road could be a problem for emergency vehicles.
In a statement, a county spokesman said in part "using an alternative route could increase the response time and that could pose a threat to those in need of response help."
McCullough says people shouldn't be focused on who uses the bridge and who doesn't--
He says his taxes help pay for the future Three Mile Bridge replacement and he hardly ever drives on that.
Everybody pays taxes, everybody should be able to benefit from it...
Demolition of this bridge should finish up by the end of the week.
A new bridge should be up and open to to traffic by the end of the fall.
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