• FDOT will take Buckman safety concerns to bridge designers

    By: Catherine Varnum


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Drivers are asking questions about the safety of the Buckman Bridge after another fatal crash Wednesday.  

    Traffic was backed up for miles as crews searched the water below. It's a scene not uncommon on the bridge. Four years ago, Luma Kajy's SUV was pulled out of the water, much like like the truck pulled out of the water Wednesday.    

    But four years later and another crash and the Florida Department of Transportation said no changes have been made and there are no plans to make any.

    "I've not seen any concerns over the safety of the bridge," said FDOT spokesman Ron Tittle. 

    Tittle was adamant the bridge meets the standard with barriers at least 32 inches high. But with another crash, people said the barriers need to be looked at.

    Action News talked with an engineer on the phone who said the barrier is designed this way so that when a crash happens the car doesn't bounce back into traffic, but rides along the edges. He said the problem is if the car is already airborne, the barrier isn't high enough to stop a car from going over. 

    FDOT admitted it has received complaints from drivers about the bridge's safety. They will now take those complaints back to designers. 

    FDOT said it is planning maintenance on this bridge, but couldn't give a specific date on when that would happen. We do know it includes checking the surface and doing an inspection. 

    The Buckman was last inspected April 30, 2013. The state requires bridges to be inspected every 24 months.

    Next Up: