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Date of Issue: February 11, 2009

AMI Bridge rehab project could finish March 3

The $10.2 million Anna Maria Island Bridge rehabilitation project is slated to finish March 3, according to Florida Department of Transportation District One director of operations Ed Gonzalez.

“The allowable contract time ends on April 25,” said Gonzalez, “but the contractor’s anticipated completion date is March 3.”

If contractor Quinn Construction Co. of Palmetto completes the project by March 3, the company earns another $60,000 bonus, Gonzalez added.

And that will push the final price tag for the project toward $11 million, including about $600,000 in bonuses to Quinn, Gonzalez said.

The original bid was for $9.1 million, but Quinn has already earned more than $500,000 in bonuses for opening the bridge earlier than expected last November following a closure to motorists. The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic for 45 days on Sept. 29, but Quinn reopened the span to motorists on Nov. 6 after 38 days, earning the bonus from the DOT.

Quinn also earned a higher paycheck by completing some additional work on the bridge for the DOT and restructuring its original time frame for the closure.

The extra work for the DOT involved repair of some areas of cracked concrete discovered after the project started. It was not part of the scope of work for the contract, and Gonzalez said the cracks were exposing some steel to the elements.

The bridge was originally scheduled to close April 1, 2008, for 75 days, but Islanders protested that April was still part of the winter tourist season. Quinn changed the closure date to Sept. 29 and shortened the closure time, and was rewarded by the DOT with the bonuses and a higher contract amount.

Gonzalez said only about 15-20 workers are on the job site on a daily basis as Quinn is winding down the project.

“Approximately 85 percent of the project is complete,” said Gonzalez. “The majority of the work remaining is associated with completing the electrical system for the bridge, adjusting the mechanical frame and minor concrete repairs on the east side of the bridge.”

Overall, the project has gone smoothly since the start of construction, Gonzalez said. Quinn has “performed satisfactorily and the quality of the work has been good,” he added.

While there have been some complaints about the trash generated by the project at the east end of the bridge approach, that area will be cleaned up by Quinn once the bridge work is completed, DOT spokesperson Audrey Clarke said.

       

Tentative PD&E presentation March 26

The Florida Department of Transportation has scheduled March 26 as the date when its Project Development and Environment study for a new Anna Maria Island Bridge will be presented to the public.

Ed Gonzalez, DOT director of operations for District One in Bartow, said the date is only tentative because the U.S. Coast Guard still has to approve and sign the PD&E and advertise for comments in the Federal Registry.

Gonzalez said the Coast Guard is scheduled to sign off on the PD&E on Feb. 23.

The PD&E will only present the various options for a new bridge, including a “no-build” option. The other options include a high-rise, fixed-span bridge, a 45-foot-clearance bascule bridge and a 21.5-foot-clearance bascule bridge. The DOT has said the public will be involved in the final selection of any new bridge.

During preparation of the PD&E, 81 percent of respondents to a DOT survey voted in favor of a high-rise, fixed-span structure.

Presentation of the PD&E will be at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Holmes Beach, said Gonzalez, but he did not yet have a time for the meeting.