Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New San Marco Bridge Deemed Safe; by Joe Daraskevich

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New San Marco Bridge Deemed Safe; by Joe Daraskevich

Article excerpt

Byline: jdaraskevich@jacksonville.com

The pedestrian bridge in San Marco that will one day connect the original Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center to the new facility across the street will be safe for people walking across it and for people driving underneath.

That's the opinion of an inspector who confirmed the stability of the structure Friday morning after a newly constructed pedestrian bridge collapsed Thursday in Miami killing multiple people.

Stacy Ferguson is the project manager for the construction at Baptist. She said the safety of the people who put the bridge in place and the people who will eventually use it is the most important aspect of the project, so they've taken extra precautions to ensure it will stand the test of time.

"After what happened in South Florida we brought someone back to review the bridge," she said Friday. Ferguson said the bridge passed all the inspector's tests.

It wasn't the first time the new walkway has been inspected, and it won't be the last.

A certified bridge inspector will again inspect the bridge before the new building opens in the late summer or fall, Ferguson said. It will be inspected every two years after that.

Ferguson said it's the same timeline for inspections that's been used for a similar pedestrian bridge over Interstate 95 that links Nemours Children's Specialty Care and Wolfson Children's Hospital. That bridge has been in place since 1995.

"We've never had any structural issues with that bridge," Ferguson said.

The new bridge is designed with a traditional all-steel truss system with structural elements and permanent supports that were already in place when workers moved the new section to where it is now above San Marco Boulevard. They took their time installing the bridge, Ferguson said, especially since there were winds gusting about 25 mph the day it was moved into place.

The bridge was built next to the roadway and moved by crane. …

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