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Inspectors say it will take millions to fix damaged Mathews Bridge

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Updated: 10/06/2013 12:38 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Action News has learned repairs to the Mathews Bridge will cost $3 million.

Friday, DOT crews took Action News up to the top of the Mathews Bridge to see the damage done after the bridge was hit by a ship.

"We're going to work as fast as we can to put a plan together," said Will Watts with the bridge maintenance office.

Watts is leading the repair efforts for the DOT. They don't want to bring any more vehicles up near this area because of weight concerns. He says crews will be working around the clock to fix the problem.

Right now, they're working up a plan for at least a temporary fix, hoping to get traffic moving within a matter of weeks. "We're going to seek advice and turn around a plan this weekend," said Watts.

DOT said the damage is worse than originally thought. We could see wires hanging off. The beam was bent, and there is even a section of the road on the bridge that was pulled apart from the ship's impact. Repairs are estimated to cost about $3 million and take a couple weeks.

State Rep. Lake Ray says even with the fix, there are still other problems that need to be addressed. "Long-term questions need to be answered. One, how does this happen. Long-term idea is making sure a plan is in place," said Ray.

He is planning to hold a town hall meeting Tuesday to discuss bridge issues.
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