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FDOT: I-95 ramps at Atlantic & Philips to reopen at 11 p.m. after emergency repairs

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Updated: 1/09 10:20 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  The Florida Department of Transportation says the ramps to I-95 from Atlantic and Phillips will be closed until at least 11 p.m. tonight.

A mistake by FDOT crews forced the closing of two ramps in San Marco that dump traffic onto I-95 northbound.

The ramps from Atlantic Boulevard westbound and Philips Highway northbound were closed earlier Thursday.

The timeline to reopen has been pushed back several times Thursday.

Drivers spent the day scrambling to get around after an incident shut down two Interstate 95 on-ramps.  

"It is crazy. I can't understand anything, just crazy," said confused driver Danny Sarakbi. 

He had to pull over and ask an officer for directions. He left early to get to work, like he always does, but couldn't get there.  

"I used Apple GPS, and it keeps bringing me back to 95 north. Every time I pass 95 north, it's giving me a way to go back to 95 north, and 95 north is closed," he said. 

According to Mike Goldman with the Department of Transportation, contractors working on the new Overland Bridge project were driving pylons into the ground overnight and ended up creating more harm than good. 

 "Somehow the vibrations from the construction equipment caused the pavement to collapse. And it created a slab crack about 7-8 inches or so," Goldman said. 

New concrete had to be poured then needed to sit for hours to dry. 

The overland bridge has been plagued with problems. A year and a half ago, before the construction started, a gaping hole opened up on the interstate, snarling traffic for hours.  

The $224 million project to build a better bridge started late last year and won't be finished until 2016. But drivers like Sarakbi said this was the worst and most confusing of it all.  

"It reminds me almost when they have a car accident and spend two hours and close everybody else," he said.

Goldman said the soil base under the pavement was unstable, causing the collapse. The pavement on top dated back to 1960s or '70s when the original bridge was built.  

The Overland Bridge is driven by more than 120,000 vehicles a day. According to DOT, the project is one of the most expensive undertaken in northeast Florida.
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warpsix - 1/9/2014 10:44 AM
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How Much will this Cost we the People?
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