• Changes ordered near Liberty Street collapse site

    By: Samantha Manning


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Florida Department of Transportation inspections are leading to more changes near the site of the Liberty Street collapse in downtown Jacksonville.

    Action News obtained documents from the city outlining the changes to Coastline Drive, just a block away from the site of the collapse on Liberty Street.

    Our previous investigations have revealed portions of both Coastline Drive and Liberty Street have had structural problems dating back to the ’90s.

    Now FDOT is recommending changes because of those structural problems. The review comes after the Liberty Street bridge collapse back in February. That left a massive hole and knocked out power to people living nearby for weeks.

    Chris Hand, Mayor Alvin Brown's chief of staff, sent us a copy of his email to City Council from Friday evening -- outlining FDOT’s recommendations after reviewing coastline drive between Liberty and Newnan streets.

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    The order states the current closures on Liberty Street and East Coastline Drive will remain in effect.
    There will be a new traffic pattern on Coastline in front of the Hyatt. Traffic will now be one-way and the speed limit will be 15 miles per hour and a 3-ton weight limit will remain in effect.

    The city says that portion of Coastline Drive that will remain closed includes a portion of the Northbank Riverwalk. The changes will remain in effect until the bridge can be repaired or replaced.

    The Public Works Department does expect to put these new measures in place next week.

    Action News has been closely following a history of structural problems in the area. Both Coastline Drive and Liberty Street have been labeled as structurally deficient since the '90s.

    In 2012, a crane caused a part of Liberty Street to collapse. The city said constructions crews violated weight restrictions for the bridge.

    Then in February, there was another collapse on the Liberty Street bridge, leaving behind a massive hole. The cause of that collapse is under investigation.

    The Hyatt sits right along Coastline Drive and the city says it has contacted the hotel about all these changes. We're told they're working closely with the Hyatt engineering team to get these fixes underway.

    Earlier this week, the City Council proposed a new bill that would spend $250,000 to clean up Liberty Street.

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