MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Transportation is now explaining why the ramp from I-275 southbound to I-75 northbound in Manatee County is still closed.
The eight million dollar bridge deck replacement project began in late July 2018. It was expected to take about ten months, but one year later, the ramp is still closed.
Brian Rick, FDOT public information specialist, says when the original concrete deck was removed, the contractor found unknown damage to the steel support beams.
“They discovered corrosion on the top and sides of the beams,” said Rick.
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The beams have now been repaired and crews are pouring concrete in some sections. However, drivers will have to continue using US-41 as a detour until the ramp reopens. Rick estimates the project will wrap up in late October or early November.
“At the end of the day, you’re going to get a safer, better, smoother and longer lasting bridge,” said Rick.
He says the project will extend the lifespan of the bridge until 2056.