Road work at north end expected to be complete by the end of the month

Road WorkBy Sue Erwin

The construction work near Kappy’s Market and Grande Quay is anticipated to be completed by the end of this month, putting an end to the current detour that is frustrating daily commuters trying to get on to the island.

Kathy Banson-Verrico, Executive Director of the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority, said that this is part of the final phase of construction. “We are adding improved drainage, 4-foot shoulders, and repaving from Gulf Shores Drive to south of Kappy’s Market. The project is expected to be completed by the end of October,” she said.

Ajax paving is on site and is working on the drainage and roadway safety improvements at the south end of the causeway. They are scheduled to add drainage structures and the four-foot shoulders next week. The detour around Gulf Shores is scheduled to last through next week, then it should go back to one lane traffic. Ajax will be working on the drainage structures and cross drains today which will require the detour.

Starting Monday the contractor will be working on the side drains and they will also begin to grade the swales. This will require one lane traffic. Commuters should expect delays over the next couple of weeks.

“As always, we will do our best to minimize traffic delays,” Banson-Verrico said.” Safety is our top priority and we need drivers to be aware and slow down when passing through the construction zone.”

The Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority maintains three bridges plus 2.5 miles of single lane causeway, designated as Charlotte County/State Road 771. As one travels south on GIBA’s Causeway toward Boca Grande, Charlotte County maintains the next .8 miles of CR 771. The final leg of 771 is another three miles located on Gasparilla Island, which is maintained by Lee County. This entire roadway lies within the GIBA Special District taxing and voting area.