Though several people spoke at Wednesday’s bridge meeting for prospective fixed bridge contractors, the message was clear: Keep traffic moving throughout the project.
The October 5 meeting brought together 11 firms who are bidding on the dual-bridge contract. It was explained to them in several different ways that they would be maneuvering around Boca Grande’s busy “season,” which runs from February to May.
“We have to keep traffic moving, because if we don’t, we are all going to hear about it,” said Paul Wingard, the south Florida regional manager for Kisinger, Campo and Associates. “There will be a very short stage where there will be one-way traffic.”
Tom Shaw, general consultant for the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority, explained that the existing south bridge is in dire straits. He said because there is some urgency in completing that project, the temporary bridge needs to be erected within 120 days from the Notice to Proceed. The bridge will be leased by the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority from the state of Florida, and the chosen contractor will, in turn, reimburse GIBA.
Completion of the total south bridge project is scheduled for one calendar year from the Notice to Proceed, and the center bridge replacement is scheduled to be completed 600 days from the Notice to Proceed.When one contractor asked how much creative leeway was allowed in the fixed bridge construction, Mike Albano from DRMP, the company who is designing the bridges, explained:
“There’s a lot of different ways you can approach this project. I asked five contractors how they would do it and I got five different answers. But the geometry established here has been through a rigorous public involvement in a highly-political area … and they’re expecting this,” he said, tapping on the prototype photograph of the new fixed bridge systems.
Prices are due from all the bidders by November 10. The bridge authority selection committee will meet on November 14, and the winner of the contract will be announced on November 17.
The Notice to Proceed is scheduled for February 14, 2012.
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