Over the next few weeks, Orion road crews will truck concrete sections of the old South Bridge to be recycled, crushed and converted to smaller rip-rap size pieces to be used as improved scour protection material all around the water's edge of the new bridge approaches. This was a negotiated item in the new bridge project, which has saved the GIBA more than $100,000.
The new GIBA South Bridge will provide users with 9-foot taller elevation, 17-foot storm surge protection, a wider deck to allow emergency vehicles 24/7 access, 4-foot shoulders and a pedestrian sidewalk.
The Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority reports work on the new Center and South bridges as of July 18 is still19 percent compete on Day 130 of the 630-day bridge project schedule.
Construction began July 9 on the new replacement South Bridge. The finish date for the new South Bridge remains March 2013 and the completion date for the new Center Bridge remains December 2013.
South Bridge progress
Orion's barge crews begin driving the production pilings July 23 and will finish in two weeks. Each five-deck support bent section contains 12 concrete pilings.
Bridge construction keys
Prime contractor: Orion Marine Construction of Tampa
Start: Construction began March 12 on Center and South fixer bridges
South Bridge completion: March 2013
Center Bridge completion: December 2013
GIBA ad valorem milestones
April 25: Decided specific terms of property tax to be placed on ballot
July 9: File ballot language with county
Oct. 1: Toll increases to $6 per vehicle
Oct. 19: Official public notice of referendum
Nov. 6: Election Day
Orion's road crews will continue to build up the new retaining wall for the elevated GIBA South Bridge and work on additional sheet pile installation.
The old South Bridge was eradicated June 22 after 10 days of demolition work right before TS Debby's arrival.
Center Bridge progress
Orion will complete the last set of 12 pilings this week.
Orion crews will install the remaining sheet piles on the north end and east side of the Center Bridge near the abutment walls. Single-lane traffic may occur during this period.
Excavation work at bridge abutments will continue throughout July.
Orion will begin building the forms to hold steel-fabricated "basket" cage inserts July 23 to be used for the five massive new concrete poured-in-place massive piling caps or "footers," which will secure the 12 in-water piling clusters required to support the new Center Bridge. When completed the new concrete footers will be exposed above the average mean daily tidal water by about 3 feet and be easily visible to all boaters.