The bids on the fixed bridge project for the Boca Grande Causeway were tallied last week, and Bridge Authority board members were shocked to find the lowest bid $6 million above their original projections.
The Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority had anticipated the project to cost around $10 million, according to figures provided by bridge consultants Kisinger, Campo and Associates and DRMP. Instead, the lowest bid came in at $16.2 million.
Tack on another $2 million for the cost that was bid to have the utilities rerouted, and you have $18.2 million.“The figures were a bit shocking to the authority,” said Jerry Lusk, chairman of the GIBA board. “It sure doesn’t make any of us very happy.”
Lusk said the biggest divergence in price occurred in the handling and moving of heavy equipment and materials to and from the causeway.
Last week the board received good news, when it was announced at a finance committee that the state of Florida would be helping out the new bridge project in the form of a low-interest loan for the swing bridge design. The costs that were slowly being determined throughout the beginning stages of the bridge replacement were also lower than original board projections.
But not this time.
“At this time, even with the new costs, the total for all three bridges is still less than the $40 million figure we had originally figured,” said Jim Cooper, executive director of the Bridge Authority. “We also expect that the project will remain on schedule.”
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