Thursday, April 26, 2018
News Roundup

Two Treasure Island communities to get new bridges

TREASURE ISLAND — Isle of Capri and Isle of Palms residents will get early presents in December that can't be opened until August.

Construction of two bridges to replace the 60-year-old spans to those communities is expected to begin in December and will take nearly 300 days to complete.

"We are really excited," public works director Jim Murphy said Tuesday.

The new bridges are expected to cost $3.46 million.

A special meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 20 at City Hall for residents of the two islands. Murphy and members of the design-build team, A2B Engineering and Johnson Brothers, will discuss the construction schedule and how it will affect access to the communities.

The bridges will be built simultaneously, one half at a time, with construction of the south side first, followed by the north side.

A sidewalk will be open throughout the construction for pedestrians.

Two-way traffic will share one lane and will be regulated by temporary traffic lights on both sides of the bridges. Timing of the lights will be adjusted to accommodate heavier traffic times and will include automatic sensors to prevent long backups.

Construction will occur from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Work will be performed on Saturdays only when weekday construction is delayed because of weather.

The first phase of construction is expected to be completed by April, at which time traffic will be switched to the new bridges and the remaining older bridges will be demolished to allow construction of the second half of the new bridges.

The bridges are expected to be fully opened to two-way traffic by August.

The existing bridges were built in the 1950s by the original island developers and "have experienced significant structural degradation," Murphy said.

The state considers the bridges "functionally obsolete" and "structurally deficient."

The city had to spend $80,000 in 2010 to reinforce the bridges and fill voids that had developed under the approaches and behind the bulkheads.

Since then, the city hired the engineering firm EC Driver & Associates to develop project specifications and evaluate the resulting bids.

The new bridges, which are expected to have a lifespan of more than 70 years, will be wider with 15-foot travel lanes in each direction.

Beige bridge railings matching those on the main causeway bridge and on the beach trail will include lights that illuminate sidewalks on both sides and decorative medallions. The ADA-compliant 6-foot-wide sidewalks will have a stamped brick-colored surface.

The contractor, Johnson Brothers, built the city's bascule bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway and the two smaller bridges to the east and west of the main bridge.

"We are encouraged because you have done a nice job on our existing bridges," Mayor Bob Minning told the contractors last month.

Comments
Softball: Plant City perfect in district finals with Ashley Bullion on mound

Softball: Plant City perfect in district finals with Ashley Bullion on mound

PLANT CITY — Plant City softball coach Ashley Bullion is 4-for-4 after Thursday night.Four years at the helm, four district titles.The latest championship came in a 4-1 victory over East Bay in the Class 8A, District 6 final, a victory highligh...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: Recent momentum carries Mitchell past Sunlake

LAND O' LAKES — Despite being on the wrong end of two lopsided outcomes to Sunlake during the regular season, recent events gave Mitchell hope in its Class 7A-10 district final rematch with the Seahawks.Just two days prior, the Mustangs be...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: Robinson makes it 10 straight wins vs. Jefferson

TAMPA — For the Robinson softball team, the perfect 10 was complete.The top-seeded Knights defeated No. 2 Jefferson for the 10th consecutive time Thursday and claimed their fifth district championship in a row, a 12-2 five-inning victory in the...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Softball: Itís April, so Chamberlain is winning

TAMPA — Coach Bob Diez and his Chamberlain Chiefs have always believed in this motto: "Be good in April."This is their season.The Chiefs added another Class 7A-8 district title Thursday against Gaither with a 7-0 victory.With the win, the ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Softball: East Lake is aggressive from the start

TARPON SPRINGS — If strong pitching and defense are the bellwethers of a deep playoff run, consider East Lake ready.Playing second seed Pinellas Park on Thursday night for the Class 8A-7 title, the host Eagles (22-3) used that philosophy to mak...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Another reason the Bucs took defensive tackle Vita Vea at No. 12

Another reason the Bucs took defensive tackle Vita Vea at No. 12

TAMPA — The selection of Vita Vea is a move the Bucs made for the present and the future. While Gerald McCoy remains a dominant defensive tackle, he turned 30 in February and is due to make $12.3 million this season and $13 million in...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
NFL draft: Chargers take FSUís Derwin James with No. 17 pick

NFL draft: Chargers take FSUís Derwin James with No. 17 pick

Former Florida State safety Derwin James fell farther than expected Thursday in the first night of the NFL draft before being chosen by the Chargers with the No. 17 overall pick.James became the fifth former Seminoles defensive back ever drafted in t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL draft: Patriots pick Lakewood alum Isaiah Wynn at No. 23

NFL draft: Patriots pick Lakewood alum Isaiah Wynn at No. 23

Lakewood High alumnus and former Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn was drafted No. 23 overall Thursday by the Patriots.Wynn becomes one of the highest drafted offensive linemen in Tampa Bay history and the first Pinellas County player to go in th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs trade down with Bills, take strongman DT Vita Vea No. 12

Bucs trade down with Bills, take strongman DT Vita Vea No. 12

TAMPA — Vita Vea loves to tell the story about the trip he took to French Polynesia with some University of Washington students and the group coming upon some enormous rocks."So over there, their strongman competition is they have a tradition w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs GM Jason Licht has assembled enough talent to win

Bucs GM Jason Licht has assembled enough talent to win

TAMPA — Another busy offseason. Another first round of the NFL draft. Another interesting night.And, through it all, Bucs general manager Jason Licht has looked pretty darn good.He spent the past couple of months patching his offensive line, sp...
Updated: 1 hour ago