According to the Okaloosa County Facebook page, the Mid-Bay Bridge has been closed effective immediately due to emergency repairs and commuters should see alternative routes.
The bridge will open to traffic once repairs are complete.
The Northwest Florida Daily News reported that corrosion on post-tensioning tendons was found by inspectors.
Post-tensioning tendons are one of the internal support systems placed inside the bridge. There are multiple tendons in each span of the Mid-Bay Bridge.Northwest Florida Daily News – Staff report
The closure is a cautionary measure intended to minimize the stresses on the bridge while FDOT personnel repair the tendons. FDOT’s number one priority is the safety of the traveling public.
How this will affect kids getting to school
The Okaloosa County School Board has placed phone calls to parents and are urging those in charge of getting children to school to have an alternative route ready Wednesday morning. The district is currently working on alternative bus routes and transportation.
No official timeframe has been given for the completion of the repairs.
How this will affect the EMS response
Okaloosa County’s Public Safety Department has mobilized to respond as quickly as possible to all life-threatening emergencies within the city of Destin.
EMS Chief Darrel Welborn said,
“This closure seals off a major route in and out of Destin. The closure compresses the traffic system and heavily increases congestion. This can increase response times. We are already making adjustments to make sure these increases are not life-threatening for residents, tourists and visitors.”
Okaloosa County EMS will station two EMS Medic Units in Destin 24/7 and a third medic unit during the highest call-volume periods of the day in order to balance out the effects of the closure of the bridge.
In addition, Public Safety has advised the County’s air transport partners of this emergency and they are ready to assist in any way possible with critical emergencies such as trauma, stroke and cardiac patients from the Destin area.
We will update this as the story develops.