BY JACK SHORT - The Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority board met Wednesday to discuss, among other things, a raise for employees, engineering updates on the swing bridge construction project and an easement request from some property owners on Cole Island.
Peter Strong, chair of the engineering committee, commented on the status of the swing bridge design. He said that there were some minor changes in cost estimates because of refinements in the design.
There have been some challenges, Strong said, not the least of which is the fact that no swing bridges have been built in Florida in the last 50 years, so everyone with knowledge of design requirements is either retired or dead.
Unlike a cantilever bridge, which has two large structures on either side, a swing bridge has one structure in the middle of the waterway, and the challenge is to design it to withstand watercraft collisions without using a “brute force” method.
Strong said he believes they’ve chosen a suitable alternative to that method.
All costs and savings in the refinement of the designs has added up to an increase of $148,000, leaving the estimated contractor cost at $18.6 million, he said. The original estimated cost was approximately $20 million.
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BY MARCY SHORTUSE - The book that will help tell the tale of Boca Grande’s history is now available on the island.
Tickets for the Taste of Boca Grande are now on sale.
The Friends of the Boca Grande Community Center have already started their busy December schedule, and it all begins with glorious music.
BY MARCY SHORTUSE - On Tuesday, Nov. 26, the 20th annual GIFT Tournament will be held in the back waters of Boca Grande. All able-bodied fishermen are invited to participate in this all-release tournament.
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