Cracks in the concrete leave TIA unable to use multi-million dollar taxiway bridge


Officials at Tampa International Airport say that even though it cost several million dollars, they are unable to use a three-year-old taxiway bridge because of cracks in the concrete.

The $6.5 million taxiway bridge connects runways 'A' and 'B,' and was built to last at least 75 years according to Emily Nipps, spokesperson for TIA.

Hairline cracks can be seen in photos provided by the airport.

The cracks began to appear last year and engineers monitored it until March, when they decided it could no longer be usable.

"We're not sure if the cracks could be a safety issue right now, but we thought that it could be enough that we shut down the bridge," said Nipps.

The taxiway bridge was constructed by Hubbard Construction out of Winter Park, and the airport has been negotiating with them to fix the problematic issue.

ABC Action News contacted Hubbard, but no calls have been returned.

It was built to haul at least 90 of the 125 airliners that traverse the pass between taxiways A and B daily.

The airport and the construction company have been at an impasse, however, and TIA is requesting Hubbard cover the costs.

TIA could not immediately disclose the cost of the repairs needed.

"We want them to fix it and we want them to make it right. We've been negotiating with them on what the right fix for the bridge is," Nipps said.

Nipps said passengers should not notice a difference in their flights, it just requires pilots to traverse a different route that requires more coordination between them and already busy air-traffic controllers.

The airport ultimately views the bridge as a vital part of a longer-term expansion.

"We're also a growing airport, we expect to add more flights over the next 10, 20, 30 years. We really need to have that bridge in place to make sure everything is flowing as smooth as possible," she said.

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