Downtown Melbourne railroad bridge damaged by cement mixer

Melbourne Avenue closed between Melbourne Court and Front Street

Rick Neale/Florida Today
Rick Neale/Florida Today

A cement mixer driving on Melbourne Avenue struck and damaged the Florida East Coast Railway bridge Wednesday morning in downtown Melbourne, city spokesperson Cheryl Mall said.

The cement-mixer collision occurred about 6 a.m. Workers are bracing the damaged trestle, and repair work will continue Thursday, Mall said.

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Just before 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, Melbourne police tweeted that Melbourne Avenue was closed between Melbourne Court and Front Street because of an early morning accident, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

By 2 p.m., a fleet of white FEC trucks had descended on the damaged bridge, along with Melbourne police cruisers and utility vehicles. A yellow wheel loader moved large steel girders beneath the bridge, placing them atop the Melbourne Avenue asphalt.

The rusting Crane Creek trestle bridge dates to the 1920s.

“This was bad,” said Anthony Marks, owner of nearby bait shop Rigg’s Outpost.

“The cement truck out of Stuart hit the bridge early this morning while a train went full speed over top of it carrying all sorts of chemicals.”

Marks said he was told the delays to the trains were causing thousands in losses and that a passing train easily could have been derailed due to the damage.

A message seeking comment was left Wednesday afternoon for an FEC spokesperson.

Alongside the trestle, Brightline crews are constructing the first of two new steel-and-concrete bridges to accommodate the company’s future Orlando-to-South Florida passenger rail service.

Brightline’s $17 million Crane Creek bridge project is scheduled to wrap up in May 2022.

The company’s work was not connected with Wednesday’s incident, spokesperson Katie Mitzner said.