Cracked emergency light replacement stops traffic briefly in Manatee

March 20, 2014 

MANATEE — Traffic was briefly interrupted Thursday afternoon on State Road 70 East and an off-ramp from Interstate 75 as a crew worked to remove an emergency light mast arm.

Earlier Thursday, a Florida Department of Transportation inspector noticed a crack in the mast arm holding the emergency lights in front of the East Manatee Fire Rescue station at 8800 S.R. 70 in Bradenton.

“We took a closer look and realized it needed to be removed,” spokeswoman Debbie Tower said. “The closure was in place so we can remove the arm from a mast arm emergency traffic signal for fire station just east of the interchange.”

The northbound off-ramp from I-75 to eastbound S.R. 70 was closed so traffic backed up on the highway since the road was temporarily closed in the direction, she said.

Bus routes and pickups from nearby schools were also affected as a result of the closure.

Within thirty minutes, at about 4 p.m. all roads were reopened just in time for the afternoon rush hour, Tower said.

“We were able to do this very quickly,” Tower said.

Until the mast arm is replaced the fire station will not have the ability to stop traffic with an emergency light but they do have an additional rear entrance.

“We don’t know what caused the crack,” Tower said.

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