Report: Flagler Bridge will remain open during construction

PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Palm Beach Civic Association ( http://palmbeachcivic.org/bridge-alert ) and the Palm Beach Post  ( http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/local/scott-gives-flagler-bridge-reprieve/nWfgt/ ) are reporting that the Florida Department of Transportation has decided against closing the 78-year-old Flagler Bridge in early April while it builds a replacement span.

A note on the association's website stated that "Governor Rick Scott reports to Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio and Palm Beach Civic Association Director Llwyd Ecclestone that FDOT will repair the existing Flagler Bridge rather than close it. The bridge may be closed for several months but otherwise will remain open during new bridge construction."

WPTV NewsChannel 5 tried to reach Mayor Coniglio but our calls were not immediately returned.

FDOT officials had said earlier this year that the old bridge had to be closed because of cracks and shifts in the foundation were making it unsafe. 

A news conference will be held on Monday to explain how the bridge can remain open safely and what contributed to the sudden decision to keep it open, according to the Post.

Earlier this year, the Florida Department of Transportation committed more than $94 million to build a wider and taller bridge south of the existing bridge.

More than 16,000 cars cross the bridge daily.

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