Through a hazy mix of twisted steel wires, chunks of concrete and powdery debris rained down on the turnpike Saturday, as crews demolished the old Interstate-595 ramp to the southbound Turnpike.
It will take a day and half to demolish a bridge that drivers have used for the past 25 years.
"The reason we had to build a new bridge was because we're bringing down the reversible express lanes into the median of the turnpike," said Paul Lampley, a project manager with the Florida Department of Transportation.
The demolition is part of the ongoing I-595 reconstruction project. Drivers should expect a noisier weekend and more traffic near the site.
"The Turnpike is so congested as it is, so taking the bridge off, it's going to be even more [congested]," said driver Katherine Korp.
The ramp won't be demolished with a wrecking ball, but by a much more delicate process.
"Once the deck comes down it falls down on a bed of sand and that protects the existing roadway. The next thing we'll be doing is taking down the steel girders that supported the deck," Lampley said. "It's a piece by piece process."
By this process, drivers will be shielded from the dust and debris. In the meantime, the southbound Turnpike will be cut to one lane at I-595, and the northbound side completely closed until the bridge is removed on Sunday. since it closed 2 weeks ago, drivers have already started to use the new ramp.
More Local Stories: