- The George Bush Boulevard Bridge in Delray Beach, Florida, has been stuck open since the beginning of March, and officials say it will be inoperable until at least late April.
- On March 3, the shaft which raises the drawbridge over the Intracoastal Waterway was sheared in two while opening and became lodged in the "span open position," Palm Beach County said in a press release, which has detoured traffic to already busy streets. The damaged parts were original machinery to the 73-year-old, 270-foot-long bridge, the Coastal Star reported.
- A replacement part has been created, but an inspection by a structural engineering firm revealed that more work — such as maintenance to a bearing and additional testing — was needed before the bridge could be used. The county said that the replacement bearing will take at least six weeks to complete, but could take longer depending on the availability of materials, according to a press release.
The bridge was most recently rehabilitated in 2010, Palm Beach County public records official Nicole Ferris told Construction Dive in an email. At that time, repair crews replaced the non-movable concrete approach slabs and the original parapets with new concrete models to FDOT standards, and repainted exposed steel girders and beams.
The county is working in conjunction with FDOT on the repairs.
Last week the bridge was brought into the national spotlight when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stumped for the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act with the stuck span in the background. In her speech, she emphasized the need for consistent upkeep for infrastructure.
"We know that the most expensive maintenance is no maintenance. We see that here. Sometimes we don't have all of the information we need, because we don't have all the money we need to check on our infrastructure to make sure that it is — and I'll use this word again and again — safe. This is about safety," Pelosi told attendees during her remarks on March 19.
The non-functioning bridge has been inconvenient for commuters and locals, with one resident telling WPTV that it would make traffic on nearby Atlantic Avenue even worse. The bridge failure represents a nationwide trend of spans that have either broken or collapsed.
Last year, the I-40 bridge near Memphis, Tennessee, shut down and caused transportation issues for months. More recently, on Jan. 28 the Fern Hollow bridge in Pittsburgh collapsed while President Joe Biden was in town to promote the IIJA.
Biden was adamant about the dire state of America's aging infrastructure and the need to fund repairs in his remarks later that day.
"We've got to get on with it. We've got to move. The next time, we don't need headlines saying that someone was killed when the next bridge collapses," Biden said.