Gadsden County officials hosted a reopening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Hutchinson Ferry Road Bridge on Tuesday, March 30. On Aug. 21, 2019, the Hutchinson Ferry Bridge collapsed and had been inoperable since that time due to construction. When the bridge collapsed, two vehicles were traveling south on the road.
“The first vehicle, a Chevy Silverado, became airborne over a void in the roadway due to a collapsed bridge,” Florida Highway Patrol’s report said. “Upon making contact with the roadway, south of the collapsed bridge, the Chevy Silverado overturned onto its roof and came to a final rest.”
About 30 minutes later, a Ford Taurus became airborne over the void in the road and had damage to the front and undercarriage of the vehicle. James Watson Jr., 51, of Bainbridge, Georgia, and Melissa Kelly, 41, of Quincy, were the drivers involved. Both Kelly and Watson have since filed lawsuits against the county in connection to a 2019 bridge collapse.
A day after the collapse the Gadsden County Public Works Department officials and the Florida Department of Transportation traversed the county to
check on other bridges. The bridge had been deemed “structurally deficient” as far back as 1999, according to Gadsden County officials.
The County used $1,612,943.00 from the Florida Department of Transportation to repair the bridge.