CAPE CORAL, Fla. - WINK News continues to investigate the state of more than 100 aging Cape Coral bridges that may all need costly repairs at the same time.
The city says its bridges are safe, right now. Cape Coral's bridges spanning 20 feet or more are inspected by the state every two years.
As Maintenance Division Manager Chris Camp explains, it's a very thorough investigation.
"They have a checklist of things they look for, topside to the substructure. They also do underwater inspections," Camp said.
The city also has a special crew that looks at all the bridges and regularly maintains them. A majority of the bridges are concrete structures. One bridge on Surfside Boulevards is costing the city more than $130,000 dollars to repair, and that's just one bridge.
An estimated 100 to 120 of them are more than 40 years old. Camp believes many are going to need repairs at the same time.
Cape Coral's mayor said bridge funding is a matter of safety.
"We haven't had the funds to fix the, look at them, correct them. And to me and this council that is a hazard. That is something that we need to look at," said Mayor Marni Sawicki.
"We just can't wait anymore. I look for this council to really be proactive in trying to undo and fix a lot of the issues that have been left and stagnant for the last 6 years."
"By doing so, we should be fairly successful in keeping these bridges safe and keeping maintenance costs down for the foreseeable future," said Camp.
Camp says the city has special funds set aside to pay for their repairs. He says it's an estimated couple hundred thousand dollars.
"We have materials that we have to purchase, keep up with guardrail repairs, certainly doing bridge deck maintenance, other repairs that involve concrete work," he said.
That bridge fund is also paying for the extensive repairs for the Surfside bridge. As time passes, and more bridges are in need of repair, Camp is hoping the city will increase the bridge budget.
"With all the other bridges that we have. They are all decaying more and more every year. Bridges like this and other ones are going to need more and more complex repairs," he said.