April traffic onto Gasparilla Island tapped the brakes slightly after five straight monthly increases.
The Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority reports April traffic was off 3 percent at 88,177 - still good enough for the No. 5 slot all-time for the month.
"There was a slight reduction in GIBA traffic," said Jim Cooper, GIBA executive director. "We are still 2 percent ahead of last year for the first seven months of this 2012 fiscal year (begins Oct. 1) and we are up 2.6 percent for the first four months of this year."
Superintendent Freddy Williams scoops out more sand Tuesday to help the crew lay the connection foundation for the temporary detour on the South Bridge.
Traffic always peaks in Gasparilla Island in March, which this year generated the second-most tolls in island history at 110,396 - just behind the all-time monthly high-vehicle mark of 110,963 in March 2007.
The April traffic count was down 22,216 tolls - 20 percent - from the robust March traffic flow.
2007 is the all-time record traffic year for Gasparilla Island at 904,766 tolls paid and nine of the No. 1 monthly traffic counts registered. Its four-month traffic count of 377,774 is 11,052 units and 2.9 percent ahead of this year's first four months.
GASPARILLA ISLAND BRIDGE AUTHORITY
LIMITED AD VALOREM TAX AND BOND REFERENDUM
Nov. 6, 2012
In addition to toll revenues, shall Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority levy an annual limited ad valorem tax not exceeding 0.30 mills to secure bonds, to be issued in one or more series in a principal amount not exceeding $48 million, bearing interest at not exceeding maximum legal rate, maturing not more than 30 years from issuance to finance/refinance costs of replacing existing fixed and swing bridges and roadway replacement?
Yes - For Bonds
No - Against Bonds
What: GIBA Board meeting
When: 9:30 a.m. July 23
Where: GIBA admin building
Why: Bridge replacement project
Who: Open to the public
GIBA toll plaza traffic is still up 2.6 percent compared with 2011 through April. The traffic increase is encouraging as bridge construction began March 12 and minor bottlenecks developed on occasion.
April tends to begin a six-month annual traffic skid as off-season toll counts usually decline through October.
For GIBA's fiscal year and dating from the time of the last 25 percent toll increase in October 2010, island traffic counts remain up. The toll will go up again with a 20 percent bump from a $1 Oct. 1 hike to $6.
GIBA members have also voted to ask island residents to approve a .30 millage increase on the Nov. 6 ballot to help pay for the bridge.