State transportation officials say there is no cause for concern over a concrete panel that collapsed on a Suncoast Parkway underpass being constructed in Citrus County.
The panel, part of a concrete slope between the northbound and southbound lanes, collapsed sometime after heavy rains that hit Citrus County on Friday, June 25.
The overpass crosses Southern Street near Seven Rivers Christian School’s Warrior Park.
A reader sent a photo of the damage to the Chronicle, which forwarded it to the Florida Department of Transportation for an explanation.
FDOT spokeswoman Ivette Ruiz-Paz’s response:
“First and foremost, the wall shown in the photo is not for retaining or structural purposes and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise assures drivers the facility remains safe.
“... This wall is installed for slope protection against erosion. The heavy rains experienced the previous week resulted in some washout of the dirt beneath the slope pavement and affected some of the concrete panel sections, either late Sunday night or early Monday morning, leading to the wall’s current appearance.
“Repairs to the wall, along with additional drainage work in this area, have not been completed due to continued heavy rain conditions. The project team is currently performing an assessment of the area and has enacted preventative measures to prevent further erosion of that section. Once the assessment is completed, permanent repairs will follow.
“Florida’s Turnpike construction team will continue to monitor this closely and ensure repairs are completed as quickly as the weather will allow. “
Construction on the Suncoast Parkway between U.S. 98 and State Road 44 continues. According to the latest FDOT estimates, the section between U.S. 98 and Cardinal Street is expected to open in October, with the entire roadway open by December.