Mid Bay Bridge Shutdown Impacting Schools and Businesses

Mid Bay Bridge Shutdown Impacting Schools and Businesses. (Source: WEAR-TV/ Photo: Chorus Nylander)

The emergency shutdown of the Mid Bay Bridge Tuesday has certainly impacted the thousands of commuters that relied on it each day, but the impacts are also trickling down to Schools and businesses.

Raphael Segno owns Destin Floral Designs, delivering flowers across the region including areas over the bridge, he said he immediately felt the effects.

"Before it took us about half an hour to 40 minutes and now it's taking us about an hour and a half to get there and back. So it's a significant amount of time," Segno explained.

For now he said he's stopped making deliveries in the Niceville area but may resume them soon with increased delivery fees. He said he's been in contact with other floral shops across the bridge to try and work out an agreement for customers on both sides. The worry is if the bridge does not open by Valentine's Day.

"Valentine's we do have a lot of deliveries that go to Niceville, to the schools, to the hospital up in Niceville, alot of businesses and we're afraid we won't be able to take those orders," Segno said.

At local restaurants the closure was certainly the talk of the town. Channel 3 News speaking with some diners at Callahan's Restaurant in Destin, hoping the bridge will open soon.

“I think they need to get it open right away," Charlie Noonan said.

At Callahan's management said several employees are having to leave home much earlier just to get to work on time.

"They have to take extra time to get to work and even though its not affecting our business, because we are a local restaurant and [we have] regular snow birds, there's people over there who are regulars who won't come here because they're not going to make the extra drive," assistant manager Tammy Risteter explained.

At the Okaloosa County School District some bus routes had to be altered.

About 60 students are having to arrive at their bus stop up to 20 minutes early and are getting home about 30 minutes late, according to the District's transportation director.

As we reported the Mid Bay Bridge was shutdown Tuesday after it failed a routine inspection.

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) inspectors found corrosion on post-tensioning tendons, a prestressed steel cable inside the bridge that reinforces concrete.

At this time FDOT has not been able to provide a timeline on when it will reopen.

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