The Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority said during its weekly update that the South Bridge finished concrete pour smoothed the way for the completion of the South Bridge.
"Orion completed the successful deck pour for the south 50 percent of the new replacement South Bridge, Dec. 11," said Jim Cooper, GIBA executive director. "Orion finishde the new deck on the South Bridge with a deck pour from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. Dec. 14."
That's the good news. The more sobering fact is Gasparilla Island motorists will soon enter a stretch of 30 days of single-lane signal traffic as the South Bridge is completed. Traffic signlas on each end of the new span will control traffic flow between mid-January and Jan. 30. Message boards will also be used.
An overview of deck side forms on the South Bridge.
The new South Bridge milestone step achieved Tuesday by Orion Marine was a 100 percent successful pouring of the 8-inch thick deck pavement, Cooper said.. Each of the two pours took 17 concrete truckloads beginning at 3 a.m. to 7 a.m.
The new west pedestrian sidewalk concrete coping curbs and 5-foot-wide sidewalk work will begin this week along with the new elevated concrete ramp approach slabs.
Construction of the fixed bridges continues to move along smoothly. GIBA reported on Day 283 of the 638-day project that Orion Marine Construction crews have the tri-bridge project 45 percent complete.
Bridge construction keys
Prime fixed-bridge contractor: Orion Marine Construction of Tampa
Start: Construction began March 12, 2012, on Center and South fixed bridges
South Bridge completion: March 2013
Center Bridge completion: December 2013
Swing Bridge completion: January 2016
The finish date for the new South Bridge remains March 2013, completion for the 800-foot-long Center Bridge remains December 2013 and the Swing Bridge should be done by January 2016.
South Bridge progress notes
Grinding and grooving of bridge deck and finish work on curbs through Dec. 30.
Wing support side walls are complete.
Final deck rebar is complete.
Concrete wing walls and deck topping complete.
Orion Marine has finished installing special marine mattresses to serve as underwater scour protection on either side of the South Bridge with 23 on the south side and 53 on the north side.
Elevated road construction: North end roadway backfilling continues. Orion's road crews are close to finishing foundation work on mechanically stabilized earth concrete wall on both sides.
Center Bridge progress notes
Six custom-engineered concrete beams with four beams supporting the new deck under each of six spans. Each span is 137 feet long and 5-foot-3-inches tall.
I-beam work begins in January. The custom-engineered concrete beams support the final traffic deck.
All sub-structure complete: concrete pilings (land and water) for both bridges all now fully set.