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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Florida the rules are different here Chapter CLX

South Florida's version of hit and run. A driver of a truck with heavy construction equipment on it, hits a expressway overpass. Damage is estimated to be between $300-500,000. The driver of the truck, Fabio L. Vasquez, swears he didn't know his truck hit the overpass. Doesn't seem too believable to me, how about you? Don't you just love Florida?

Hat tip- Rick at SOTP
Linked to- Bullwinkle, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, The World According to Carl,

One lane of traffic along the Dolphin Expressway, State Road 836, will be closed four to six weeks for repairs after a hit-and-run driver of a truck hauling heavy construction equipment whacked an overpass bridge at Northwest 72nd Avenue Friday morning.

The closed westbound lane could add to the rush-hour angst for commuters on Miami-Dade County's busiest east-west route. The road, which normally has five lanes at the damaged overpass portion, carries more than 300,000 drivers a day, according to Miami-Dade Expressway Authority engineer Juan Toledo.

The Friday morning collision damaged three of 19 beams that support the overpass. One of those concrete and steel beams now needs to be replaced. A second one needs significant repairs.

''The first beam took the brunt of the hit,'' Toledo said. ``If we don't come in and remove this beam and fix the other one, there's a danger that it might collapse with traffic on it.''

The bridge was already getting minor repairs as recently as Thursday night. Since at least 1999, it had been rated structurally deficient by the Florida Department of Transportation. It was on a list that drew attention last week after a bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, killing several drivers.

Toledo said the damaged bridge, built in 1968, is scheduled to be replaced within five years, but the deficient rating ``doesn't mean it's at the point where it's going to crumble.''

Miami-Dade police caught up with the truck driver after he hit the bridge Friday morning, said Detective Mario Rachid. The driver, Fabio L. Vasquez, 49, was cited for leaving the scene of an accident and given a notice to appear in court. Vasquez, who has no criminal record, told police he did not realize he hit the overpass, Rachid said. He could not be reached for comment.

On Friday, traffic along 72nd Avenue, which becomes Milam Dairy Road, was being rerouted to avoid letting cars under the 836 bridge. The southbound detour was expected to remain until sometime today; northbound lanes reponed at noon Friday. Westbound 836 on-ramps were also closed for a few hours but were opened by the afternoon.

The traffic crunch along 836 could have been worse. Last year, MDX finished rerouting traffic on 836 just east of Friday's crash, so that drivers merging onto the Palmetto Expressway exit sooner. That alleviated some of the congestion in the area, said Mike Smith, manager of maintenance and operations for MDX.

MDX uses an outside contractor -- Virginia Maintenance Services -- to make repairs, as part of a five-year contract. It will be up to VMS to collect from Vasquez's insurance company. Repairs are expected to cost $300,000 to $500,000.


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