Crews will soon be putting up Wyoming tube rails, as well as adding embedded lights on the bridge’s pedestrian walkway.
For those who don’t remember, there was some controversy among board members last season about whether spending the extra money on the railings was worth it. The other option would have been Jersey Bouncers. They are cheaper, but considering they’re nothing more than concrete walls they’re difficult to catch a view through.
Eventually, the board reconsidered and unanimously decided on the Wyoming railings.
“They were discussing at one time whether they would follow the Florida Department of Transportation’s way of doing it, which is to install the Jersey Bouncers,” said Jim Cooper, executive director of the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority.
“We researched it and found that, over time, these Wyoming railings stand up to the elements better, so they are actually cost-effective in the end. And they’re very nice looking. After many complaints from the community, FDOT is considering using these railings more and more throughout the state.”
Cooper said workers will be working on the railings soon, as well as taller pedestrian railings along the sidewalk.The traffic lane rails (Wyoming rails) will be 33 inches tall, but the pedestrian railings will be approximately waist-high to an adult.
Finally, embedded lighting along the walkway will make it a safer place when it’s dark out and will add to the ambiance.
“You can see how the new pedestrian sidewalk lighting on the new south bridge is mounted inside the concrete curb, below the Wyoming Railing, so that it will be very environmentally friendly to the surrounding homes in providing a soft light at night,” Cooper said. “It will only illuminate the bridge’s pedestrian sidewalk surface and nothing else. Those residents who left for the holidays should see a considerable amount of progress when they return.”
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