PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — News 13 reported on Wednesday that the Tarpon Dock Bridge closed due to the heat, and and it surprised a lot of people, so we asked the city about the process.
Panama City city officials said the metal drawbridge heats up and expands during extremely hot days. The bridge opens up to allow boats to pass under.
If it expands too much from the heat, the drawbridge will not close flush. That ultimately makes it unsafe for both pedestrians and drivers to cross.
Public Works Director Jonathan Hayes said it’s a pretty common thing considering our climate, but the city always wants to keep its citizens safe.
“That does happen around this time of year as we get in towards the end of June, July and August of each year,” he said. “It is something that’s happened before, and our city staff are prepared to deal with it and respond in a timely manner to get the bridge closed again and operating as soon as possible for pedestrians and vehicles to go over it safely.”
The bridge reopened to traffic Wednesday night. Officials said they have crews spraying the bridge with water every hour to keep it cool to prevent another closure.