CAPE CORAL, Fla. - One Cape Coral bridge is corroding and crumbling away. WINK News has confirmed there is concern about more than 100 others, just in the Cape.
The city expects to spend about $130,000 to repair the bridge at Surfside Boulevard and SW 37th Terrace.
If more bridges need repairs, it could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars out of your pocket. An estimated 100 to 120 bridges the city are more than 40 years old, and all built the same way, which means they're all going to need repairs at the same time.
"About five years, five to six years we've lived here," said Cape Coral resident Terry Fisher. "The condition is deteriorating, and it has been since we got here."
Fisher watches as this bridge near his house corrodes and crumbles before his eyes. "A lot of times you'll actually hear boats hit the sides of the bridge, and it will, over time, break pieces off."
The city of Cape Coral is spending more than $130,000 to repair it. City documents say the bridge needs to be repaired immediately as a matter of public safety. Its reinforcement bars are corroding.
WINK News is learning, soon, other bridges in need of repairs may follow.
"The majority of the bridges in the city were built between 1965 and 1975. 80 percent of them were built in that time frame," explained Chris Camp, with Cape Coral public works.
"That's going to mean costly repairs Camp calls "a band-aid" because there's just not enough money right now to completely replace every bridge.
"Once this happens to this bridge, it wouldn't be surprising that we experience this with other bridges. We'll be able to know what to do, now, to treat it," explained Camp.
As for Fisher, he's in support of the repairs, and hope they won't hurt his businesses "Fish Face Charters."
"If we don't have notice they are closing the bridge, we are stuck back here. We would like to know with plenty of advance notice so I can get the boat out. It's my lifeline," Fisher.
It depends on where the bridge is located, as to if the city would pay for repairs, versus the county. FDOT has money for bridge repairs, but that money is extremely limited.
Repairs will start later in the summer, and last 60 days. Traffic and boaters will have to cautiously maneuver around the work.
The city's bridges are inspected on a regular basis.