The hammerhead caps are coming.
Construction of Tampa-based Orion Marine's two fixed bridges on Boca Grande remains on schedule at Day 157 of the 630-day project. This Friday features the first hammerhead-style cap pouring, e-mailed Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority Executive Director Jim Cooper Wednesday in his weekly update.
The large Center Bridge caps are designed in a "hammerhead" style to rest on columns. They provide the structural support for the four large beams that will support the final new Center bridge deck.
Each “hammerhead” cap is custom-designed and massive at 37 feet long, 6½ feet tall and 5 feet deep. The unique forms support the pour for each cap and require extensive engineering, including special bracing ties to the footings.
"As the new caps are built, islanders will have a better perspective of the new Center Bridge's height," Cooper said.
Each "hammerhead" cap is custom-designed and massive at 37 feet long, 6 feet tall and 5 feet deep. The unique forms support the pour for each cap and require extensive engineering, including special bracing ties to the footings.
Orion is now working on the most visible phase of the Center Bridge construction with five key structural support sections being installed. They will function much like the legs on a table.
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
The new bridge will provide improvements such as a 9-foot elevation increase, 17-foot storm surge protection, wider deck, 4-foot shoulders and the first pedestrian-safe sidewalk on the west side.
Orion will use flagmen for a concrete pour from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday each week through October to complete all footings, columns and caps for GIBA's new fixed bridges.
The finish date for the new South Bridge remains March 2013 and the completion date for the new Center Bridge remains December 2013. The work is on schedule and 24 percent complete.
South Bridge progress notes
Installation of new pilings: Orion's barge crews continue driving the water-based production pilings with 19 in to date and five more to be completed at the end of the week, which will bring this task to 66 percent complete.
Orion's road crews will continue to build up the new retaining wall for the elevated GIBA South Bridge. The south area bulkhead wall has been completed. Orion is working on the excavation and the north end bulkhead wall.
The north bulkhead wall deadmen are being installed with new coping, while the old south bulkhead wall cap is being removed.
Center Bridge progress notes
All 12 in-water production pilings are now set.
The second column will be poured next week Friday. Columns stand on footings. Each column is 7 feet in diameter and about 12-feet tall.
Large Center Bridge caps are designed in hammerhead style to rest on the columns and provide the structural support for four large beams that support the final new Center bridge deck.