MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – As we approach another hurricane season, and already with a named storm, a Brevard County bridge that was damaged by Hurricane Irma remains closed.
- Sykes Creek Bridge remains closed
- The Merritt Island bridge was damaged by Hurricane Irma
- The county is waiting for money from FEMA to complete repairs
This comes as the county waits for the federal government to pay for repairs.
"Everyday I would use that road to come out to windsurf, instead of getting out on the ramp to 528, towing a trailer," said Fran Conway, a frustrated Merritt Island resident.
Conway's normal way to get from home to enjoy the waters of the Banana River is still blocked.
"Terrible," he said about the progress. "I'm afraid I'm going to get hit."
The Sykes Creek Bridge on Sea Ray Drive has been closed since Hurricane Irma in September 2017 eroded around the bridge support pilings. That meant a possible collapse, plus losing a pipe that provided water to beachside residents.
A detour remains in effect, with drivers directed to use the Beach-line Expressway which parallels the road, or go around to alternate routes like Courtenay Parkway or North Banana River Drive.
More than $1 million was spent by the county to make temporary repairs, but officials are still waiting on $3 million in reimbursement money from FEMA to get the project complete.
It's possible the county won't be reimbursed any money, and be forced to pay for the project.
The earliest estimates for completion is well into 2020.
"Hurry up and wait, seems to be," Conway said.
Brevard County took out what's called an 'in-house loan' to fund park and boat repairs. Eleven of 21 parks damaged by hurricanes Matthew and Irma are back open so far.