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 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 ft 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 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 impede their view of the lagoon beneath and requested for a extra aesthetically pleasing various.
Orchid Mayor Bob Gibbons contacted FDOT asking for an alternative choice to the chain hyperlink fence which might deal with each the pursuits of security and aesthetics.
“Residents all through the barrier island to the north of the Metropolis of Vero Seashore frequently depend on the 510 bridge as their technique of entry between the mainland and their houses,” mentioned 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 mission to seek for higher options.
MPO Employees Director Brian Freeman mentioned the choice is sensible to him.
“I believe everybody desires the bridge to be protected, however we must be delicate to the aesthetics as effectively,” mentioned Freeman. “There’s lots of stunning, pure surroundings alongside the lagoon and I do suppose a series hyperlink fence might detract from the view.”
Kris Kehres, an operations engineer for FDOT, mentioned the prevailing site visitors concrete boundaries of the Wabasso bridge had been retrofitted in 2005 with a “vertical face retrofit site visitors railing,” as per FDOT normal plans.
A rail on prime of the prevailing site visitors railing, much like one on the Barber Bridge and the Alma Lee Loy Bridge is just not attainable as a result of the Wabasso bridge is just not configured the identical means as the opposite bridges.
Bicycle fanatic Bob Auwaerter from Indian River Shores mentioned there’s no query that one thing must be executed about security on the bridge for each bicyclists and pedestrians.
“They must provide you with one thing,” mentioned Auwaerter. “You can not enable 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 depart it in its present state could be unacceptable.”
Guillermo Camedo, communications supervisor for FDOT mentioned the protection mission to put in a 3-foot chain-link fence on the surface of the 2 concrete bridge boundaries on the S.R. 510 Wabasso Seashore Street excessive stage bridge is quickly on maintain.
“The Division is researching viable choices that could possibly be used and meet security requirements,” mentioned Camedo. “We count on to debate the choices we’ve got with the events within the subsequent few weeks.”
Janet Begley is a neighborhood freelance author. When you like articles like this and different TCPalm protection of Treasure Coast information, please support our journalism and subscribe.