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Busy road leading to Tarpon Springs reopens after bridge wash out

Posted: 4:50 PM, Mar 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-08 12:51:59Z
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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla — A main road that takes drivers into Tarpon Springs and Pinellas County has reopened after crews cut through the pavement and fixed a bridge that was starting to wash away.

Hillsborough County says the road reopened Friday and believed the prognosis was better than first expected.

Wednesday, many cars trusted their GPS and drove down Tarpon Springs road only to be turned around.

"Well I was detoured,” said Kenneth McCray.

"Google maps is not gonna help me now,” Catherine Tucker said.

Both of those drivers were trying to get to Tarpon Springs.

"Yeah that bridge has been there for years and it does look a little rinky,” said Jerry North, a driver who takes the road nearly every day.

"I’m going to be working in Citrus Park for the next two straight weeks and yeah it really does cut like 15 minutes off my drive time,” he said. He says SR 54 is a traffic nightmare.

But crews say the bridge just isn’t safe right now. Wednesday crews threw on wet suits and dove in to test the ground below.

The stream running underneath this bridge connects two lakes on either side and crews believe the rise and fall of the water over time has naturally eroded the underside of the bridge.

North says even though it’s a bit of an inconvenience, he’s thankful they’re fixing the bridge now before someone gets hurt.

“You can only see so far ahead of you. If one vehicle tanks into the bridge then another one may follow,” he said.

Alternative routes heading westbound would be to take Gunn Highway to 54. And if you’re going eastbound take Crawley Road to North Mobley.