INDIAN RIVER COUNTY— After complaints from the cities of Orchid and Indian River Shores, the Florida Division of Transportation has halted building of the 3-foot-high chain hyperlink fence throughout the very best span of the A.B. Michael (Wabasso) Bridge.
The fence was designed to guard bicyclists as they crossed the span that sits roughly 60 toes above the Indian River Lagoon.
For years, cyclists and members of the Metropolitan Planning Group’s Bicycle Advisory Committee have urged the Florida Division of Transportation to make enhancements for each bicyclists and pedestrians to the bridge.
Over the summer time, the state paid $180,000 for a contractor to put in a security fence. White posts had been put in throughout the very best factors of the bridge to anchor the deliberate galvanized metal chain hyperlink fence.
Residents of Orchid and Indian River Shores contacted their native city governments to complain the fence would hinder their view of the lagoon under and requested for a extra aesthetically pleasing different.
Orchid Mayor Bob Gibbons contacted FDOT asking for an alternative choice to the chain hyperlink fence which might tackle each the pursuits of security and aesthetics.
“Residents all through the barrier island to the north of the Metropolis of Vero Seaside frequently depend on the 510 bridge as their technique of entry between the mainland and their houses,” stated Gibbons. “Subsequently, I consider the chain-link fencing plan for the 510 bridge is a matter of significant concern for all communities on this space.”
After calls from each Gibbons and Indian River Shores Mayor Brian Foley, FDOT determined to droop the undertaking to seek for higher options.
MPO Employees Director Brian Freeman stated the choice is smart to him.
“I feel everybody needs the bridge to be secure, however we should be delicate to the aesthetics as nicely,” stated Freeman. “There’s lots of lovely, pure surroundings alongside the lagoon and I do assume a sequence hyperlink fence might detract from the view.”
Kris Kehres, an operations engineer for FDOT, stated the prevailing site visitors concrete obstacles of the Wabasso bridge had been retrofitted in 2005 with a “vertical face retrofit site visitors railing,” as per FDOT commonplace plans.
A rail on high of the prevailing site visitors railing, much like one on the Barber Bridge and the Alma Lee Loy Bridge will not be doable as a result of the Wabasso bridge will not be configured the identical manner as the opposite bridges.
Bicycle fanatic Bob Auwaerter from Indian River Shores stated there’s no query that one thing must be completed about security on the bridge for each bicyclists and pedestrians.
“They must provide you with one thing,” stated Auwaerter. “You can’t permit that bridge to stay as it’s. I’ve by no means ridden throughout it as a result of it’s simply too harmful. To go away it in its present state could be unacceptable.”
Guillermo Camedo, communications supervisor for FDOT stated the protection undertaking to put in a 3-foot chain-link fence on the skin of the 2 concrete bridge obstacles on the S.R. 510 Wabasso Seaside Street excessive degree bridge is briefly on maintain.
“The Division is researching viable choices that might be used and meet security requirements,” stated Camedo. “We count on to debate the choices we now have with the events within the subsequent few weeks.”
Janet Begley is an area freelance author. In the event you like articles like this and different TCPalm protection of Treasure Coast information, please support our journalism and subscribe.