Brooks Bridge now open

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 12:05 PM.

The impact took down several feet of the concrete guardrail and broke a water pipe that runs underneath the eastbound sidewalk on the bridge. Concrete and water from the pipe poured into Santa Rosa Sound.

No one was hurt and no vehicles crossing the bridge were damaged, said Randy McDaniel, Okaloosa County’s emergency management director.

Satter said the next step for FDOT is to again assess the bridge's structure for safety purposes.

"We wanted to get it open as quickly as we could," Satter said. "Especially because we have people trying to get to work, school and with spring break season. Everything is safe and secure at this point."

Satter said a damage estimate wasn't available yet, but did say the repair costs will not come from Okaloosa County's state transportation budget.

"Somebody will be held liable for the damages," he said.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Cory Walters said a chief warrant officer with the Coast Guard's Panama City station has already interviewed the barge operator. No other details on the investigation were immediately available.

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