Orion Marine Construction is rolling on the Center Bridge after making short work of the new South Bridge.
"During the past two weeks Orion has made substantial and visible progress," said Jim Cooper, Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority executive director.
All major South Bridge construction is now complete including railings, new sidewalk and sod at the south end.
Sixteen of 24 giant concrete I-beams have been installed as work progresses speedily on the Center Bridge.
The new protected pedestrian sidewalk will open as soon as the embedded curb lighting is connected by Florida Power & Light by the end of March.
The first set of eight I-breams arrived by barge last week and installed in two days on two spans.
The second set arrived by Thursday and will complete the next two center spans once installed.
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: October 2013
Swing Bridge completion: January 2016
The outside beam L-Brackets support the concrete forms used to pour the 8-inch-tall concrete bridge deck installed this week.
"Orion will work south to north as they complete the six Center Bridge spans and the new deck," Cooper said. "The new deck will begin being poured in April."
The temporary South Bridge rented for $1 million fm the state of Florida should be gone in April. South Bridge construction will finish this month after the asphalt overlay and road striping are done.
The South Bridge opened to two-lane traffic Feb. 15 - a week ahead of schedule.
Large rocks will be set to provide underwater slope protection for the Center Bridge as elevated road construction and wall work continues.
The three-bridge project was 57 percent complete as of March 13 on Day 360 of 638 contract days.