Say goodbye to the unpopular South Bridge speed bumps. They're gone for good.
Motorists have also not been slowed much by the one-lane restriction of the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority fixed bridge project, according to a Gasparilla Gazette poll at bocagrandetalk.com.
Nearly half of all respondents at bocagrandetalk.com indicated the wait was about three to four minutes.
Mixed signals have been few and far between during the smooth one-lane South Bridge operations commenced Jan.22.
Jim Cooper, Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority executive director, said Orion Marine reached the halfway point of construction when it opened the single lane on the South Bridge Jan. 22. Two-lane traffic should be restored by Feb. 22 or roughly two weeks from now.
New Center Bridge activity also remains on schedule. Four rows of 137-foot-long precast concrete deck support beam will be installed from barges by cranes in March.
When finished the two-lane elevated roadway on the south end of the new bridge will connect to the GIBA causeway to allow full time two-lane traffic with no signals or speed bumps
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: First lane opened Jan. 22, completion Feb. 22
Center Bridge completion: December 2013
Swing Bridge completion: January 2016
The new South Bridge will have a 4- foot wide traffic shoulder, which can accommodate bicycle traffic, and a Wyoming rail-protected 5-foot-wide pedestrian sidewalk connecting Cole Island to north Gasparilla Island.
The bridge project was 51 percent complete as of Jan. 30 on Day 317 of 638 contract days.
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.