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FIU Professor On Turnpike Holes: Miami-Dade's Infrastructure Gets D+

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The two big holes that opened up on the Florida Turnpike Saturday weren't caused by nature, but rather a corroded pipe.

Specifically, it was a 10-inch wide cast iron water pipe that was put in in 1960 – which is almost as old as that section of the Florida Turnpike.

Miami-Dade County repaired the pipe and is studying the line.

"Staff will be monitoring it and where this line continues to go underneath the ground to make sure we can alleviate or improve it," said Jennifer Messemer-Skold with Miami-Dade Water and Sewer.

Water main breaks in South Florida are nothing new, but they rarely happen under a major highway.

"If the infrastructure was a student, it would get a D plus," said Florida International University professor Atorod Azizinamini.

Azizinamini keeps track of South Florida's infrastructure.

While Miami-Dade is a little better than the D plus nationally, he said more needs to be sent to fix our old pipes.

"Infrastructure is like buying a car. If you don't do maintenance, it is not gonna last long," he said.

Miami-Dade County is spending millions to prevent this from happening again.

"We have to make sure the infrastructure we have remains compliant and remains us being able to provide safe drinking water," said Messemer-Skold.

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