Road & Bridge repairs back on the priority list for Palm Beach County

Engineers: North Dixie Hwy in "poor condition"

BOCA RATON, Fla. - It may not be obvious to the untrained eye, but the 30 year old Palmetto Park Road Bridge takes a beating daily.

"All of the mechanical parts are in the salt environment constantly, so it requires a lot of maintenance," says Dennis Furney, a bridge mechanic for Palm Beach County.

NewsChannel 5 tagged along as Furney gave Palm Beach County Commissioner Steve Abrams a tour inside the bridge.

The County is poised to set aside $2.6 million to replace the hydraulics and rusted out areas of the bridge. Such repairs took a back seat during the recession.

"We try to catch it before it becomes a huge safety issue, but again we're having to play some catch up," says Commissioner Abrams.

Abrams says the entire county roads and bridge repair budget went from about $10 million to a mere $400,000 during the recession.

It's not just bridges that need attention. Re-paving a two-mile stretch of North Dixie Highway in Boca Raton is also a priority. Residents are pleased to hear about it, but they want more.

"I think it's a great idea, but this area also needs to be cleaned up," says Carmen Piccolo.

Repairs will come first, no word if a beautification project would follow.

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