Officials Predict Quick Opening of I-10 in Northwest Florida

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta says he saw Hurricane Ivan's damage to a major interstate and an airport, and he has delivered the first installment of federal money to get cars, planes and trucks moving again.

Meanwhile, Florida officials promised to have two lanes of an Interstate 10 bridge over Escambia Bay at Pensacola open in the next three weeks. They look for all four lanes to open in three months, though they also say the state is likely to build a completely new bridge eventually.

Mineta was ferried to the I-10 bridge to see the damage this week and hear an engineer's explanation of what happened.

Water more than 20 feet high pushed roadway sections off their supports and into the bay as Ivan came ashore Thursday morning. A truck driver who was on the bridge died when his cab plunged into the bay.

With the link across the bay broken and Pensacola's only interstate cut in half, traffic has been a nightmare. Another bridge farther north on U.S. Highway 90 also was damaged and is down to one lane each way.