Open Letter to City of Lighthouse Point
Dear Mayor and Commissioners:
The bridge on 36 Street is very old and in poor condition. Among all the many bridges in Lighthouse Point, this bridge is, without question, the most critical bridge in the city. This bridge provides the single and only access to: (a) over 1,000 residents in 400 single family homes, (b) to St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, (c) to Frank McDonough Park, (d) the dock for the City Police Boat at Fletcher Park, and (e) for business access to Cap’s Place. If this bridge is damaged, there are not any alternate routes for detours and no other access whatsoever for all these residents.
At the present time, there are substantial bumps in both lanes on this bridge going each way. The earth supporting the approaches has been sinking over time and these approaches are in need of repairs again. Even the concrete retaining walls supporting these approaches are cracked as recent pictures have shown.
Cary Winningham, PE, our City Engineer, has made recommendations for repairs and I believe our Public Works Dept. is planning repairs this summer, hopefully, well before the coming peak hurricane season.
In addition, there is that mammoth tree on the northeast bridge approach. Our mayor has spoken with the County Arborist who thinks this tree “should” survive a hurricane; however, [neither] this arborist nor our engineer will guarantee its survival.
Mentioning hurricane season brings up what I believe is a major hazard to that most strategic bridge for over a thousand of our residents. This year, on TV, we have seen the crazy weather all over our country, and South Florida has been lucky for many years. A major hurricane hitting the Pompano area would create extremely high hurricane winds from the north and northeast, the most likely directions to blow that tree down onto our bridge. If that bridge is damaged or blocked, all the Lake Placid residents have no access for emergency medical or police assistance, and their homes and the church have no fire protection whatsoever.
In addition, if you drive by, you will notice that this mammoth tree also surrounds and endangers the only electric power to our 1,000 Lake Placid residents, as well the resident, in the Town of Hillsboro Beach. While blocking this roadway, one lane at a time, to fix the bumps on the approaches, it would be the appropriate time to entirely remove that tree or drastically cut back all those big limbs to protect Lake Placid residents’ access and electric power to their homes, and to protect our old bridge until its complete rebuilding takes place.
Leo L. Bentz
[This issue was presented at a recent LHP commission mtg. See more on pg. 4.]