Colonial Drive has reopened for east and westbound traffic at the Interstate 4 intersection with Garland Avenue following a brief closure over the weekend.
Unexpected detours through Downtown Orlando had traffic backed up along Orange Avenue and several downtown sidestreets over the weekend, with reported commuting time increases of roughly 40 minutes to simply travel from Colonial Drive to South Street.
The Florida Department of Transportation made the decision to close West Colonial Drive when crews discovered that a pillar under the new bridge appeared unsound. Several local news agencies mentioned cracks being found in one of the newly erected support beams. While reluctant to say the word “crack,” an FDOT spokesperson told Bungalower that the pillar had appeared compromised so they ordered additional safety measures be put into place.
A temporary structure has been installed under the bridge to relieve pressure on the stressed column while repairs are made. Designs for a permanent fix are currently being drawn up to place a new pier next to the existing one and are expected to take a couple of weeks prior to being executed.
FDOT was adamant that the bridge and existing pier had been found to be structurally sound and that this new solution is simply to be extra cautious. They also stated that the bridge in question has never been open to traffic.
We will release more information on when FDOT will close this length of Colonial in the near future to put the new support structure in place.