SUBMITTED BY THE GASPARILLA ISLAND BRIDGE AUTHORITY –
GIBA Board of Supervisors held their quarterly board meeting on Wednesday, April 22. Island residents Ronald Drake and Kenneth Richardson were welcomed to the two open advisory member positions.
Traffic and revenue figures for the cumulative fiscal year 2020 were up four percent before the beach closures on March 20, 2020. Since that date the bridge has seen a decrease of 50 percent in both traffic and revenue. Bridge openings are down 13 percent for the first six months of fiscal year 2020.
The Finance Committee report included a review of the 2nd quarter financial statements. While GIBA currently has long term cash reserves, traffic and revenue have continued to decline during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a discussion by the Board Members regarding the current economic hardships for bridge pass holders, the Board voted to extend all bridge pass expiration dates by six months. The extension only applies to current active bridge pass account holders as of April 1, 2020. The extension will post on the accounts on May 15, 2020. If you have questions after that date, you may call or e-mail the GIBA office.
The Engineering Committee report included a discussion on the ongoing project of procuring and installing the components required for a temporary jack system. This system will be in place in the event of an emergency bridge end lift failure.
The Board approved the acquisition by GIBA of Charlotte County property required for the construction of the new southern roadway sidewalk project. The request for proposal for construction of the southern roadway sidewalk project was approved. The final engineered design plans will be completed in the next few weeks and the proposed construction will be advertised for bid. The plan is to award the bid at the August Board Meeting and for the construction work to begin in the fall.
The toll collection system back end platform is now up and running. After credit card compliance requirements are verified the new GIBA interactive website will go live. All current toll rates and policies will remain the same. The new website will be available for interactive use on May 15.