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Construction delays on Homosassa bridge continue to frustrate businesses and residents

Posted at 6:03 PM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-03 18:26:48-04

HOMOSASSA, Fla. — Residents and businesses along a Citrus County coastline are fed up with the seemingly endless construction project on a Homosassa bridge.

A narrow, crooked path across the Halls River is the only way in and out of the Homosassa community. The bridge is still under construction a year and a half after it was supposed to be finished.

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"The way they made the center line, it's hard enough to keep it between the lines in a regular vehicle rather than pulling a boat," said Douglas Morse, General Manager of Riverhaven Marina

Morse says the bridge construction has drastically affected his business.

"I have many, many customers call and say, I’m not going to bring my boat I just don’t feel comfortable going over that bridge," said Morse.

The 60-year-old bridge is being widened and replaced with rust-resistant material.

FDOT is using a grant to pay the contractor, Astaldi Construction Corporation, $7.5 million to complete the project that was supposed to be finished in October of 2017.

That date came and went because of many issues holding up construction, including the bed rock being harder than expected.

Another delay was caused when a protected osprey built a nest in one of the cranes, stopping its use for months. And each time a manatee swims by, construction has to be halted for 30 minutes.

Weather delays also held up work on the bridge.

Now, the project is expected to be finished this June — two and a half years after it was started.

We reached out to FDOT to confirm whether that will happen, but and they are trying to get more information about the contractor.

Businesses say they just want it finished by their busiest time of year.

"I’m hoping it's done by scallop season," said Morse.