A couple of weeks ago a dump truck tried to go under Interstate 175 at 6 St S in downtown St. Petersburg. Unfortunately, the dump truck had something raised which ended up hitting the concrete beams of the eastbound lanes of Interstate 175.
The impact sent chunks of concrete raining down on 6 St S underneath the eastbound lanes. Both the eastbound lanes of Interstate 175 as well as 6 St S were closed while Florida DOT engineers checked the condition of the structure. Two beams crossing 6 St S were severely damaged necessitating their replacement.
The Florida DOT engineers decided that one eastbound lane of Interstate 175 was safe for travel, so traffic was restricted to one lane eastbound crossing 6 St S. Right away workers began the process of removing the bridge decking and barrier wall in order to get access to the two damaged concrete beams.
Meanwhile, over at a concrete bridge beam factory somewhere in Tampa, the two replacement beams were being fabricated in accordance with the original plans when Interstate 175 was built in the late 1970’s. Once cast the beams were trucked to the site for placement onto the overpass bridge piers.
Once the beams were lifted and set into place, all that was left was to re-deck the concrete roadway and reconstruct the barrier wall. About two weeks later, on 30 September 2019 the repairs were complete and the right eastbound lane of Interstate 175 was reopened. In addition, 6 St S was also reopened giving back outbound access to Interstate 275 for those that work at St. Petersburg’s two major hospitals, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and Bayfront Health St. Petersburg (formerly Bayfront Medical Center).
All in all, I would say kudos to the Florida DOT for getting this very important overpass repaired and back in service! After all, downtown St. Petersburg needs these downtown feeders – Interstates 175 and 375 – to get commuters and visitors from Interstate 275 to the heart of downtown St. Petersburg and vice versa.