CLEARWATER, Fla. - UPDATE: Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard was reopened late Wednesday after a road crew removed four damaged girders that closed the busy roadway under U.S. 19 for a day-and-a-half.
The steel girder on the old U.S. 19 bridge over Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard was struck by the top of a truck Tuesday afternoon. The weight of the beam is estimated at 70 tons.
A decision was made for the Florida Department of Transportation contractor to remove all four girders over the roadway, a lengthy process.
As of Wednesday morning, two of the four girders had been removed. It was taking about five hours to remove each girder.
Motorists are urged to avoid the area and be prepared for delays.
Westbound drivers should head north from Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard to Drew Street and turn left. Then turn left on the frontage road along U.S. 19 and head back to Gulf-to-Bay.
Eastbound drivers should drive south to Belleair Road, head to US 19, and then back to Gulf-to-Bay.
Here's a map of the suggested routes: