Gasparilla Island traffic will gain a holiday this weekend as bridge construction activity will cease during the holiday weekend.
"The good news is Orion's construction schedule remains on track," said Jim Cooper, executive director of the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority.
Over the next few weeks, Orion flagmen will delay two-lane traffic flow by 5 minutes on occasion. Construction-related road flagging occurs as needed to safely move or relocate heavy construction equipment near the road during construction.
All 12 pilings for the first pier will be installed on Tuesday and Wednesday after the three-day Memorial holiday. Each new precast concrete production piling will be driven and set 100 feet deep for each pier.
Orion crews began installing sheet piles this week on the north and east side of the current Center Bridge.
The Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority reports work on the new Center and South bridges is 13 percent compete and remains on schedule. The detour bridge will open for all two-lane GIBA traffic June 1.
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 May 23 GIBA update came on Day 73 of 630 project days. The finish date for the new South Bridge remains March 2013 and the completion date for the new Center Bridge remains December 2013.
The latest South Bridge progress includes:
The 360-foot steel ACROW detour bridge deck and pilings are fully installed. Paving the temporary roadway will take place Tuesday, May 29, the day after Memorial Day weekend.
Center Bridge progress:
All in-water test piles have been driven nearly 130 feet. The Big Red 300-ton crane and barge is working full time at the Center Bridge.
Twelve new Orion Concrete Production Center Bridge concrete pilings arrive today, May 24. Twelve pilings will be driven 100-feet deep and set for each pier.
Several Australian exotic pine trees at the north end of Cole Island, which conflict with Gasparilla Island Water Association utilities, have been removed to ensure timely GIWA utility relocations on the west side of the GIBA Causeway. More will be removed in the next seven days.