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Date of Issue: October 01, 2008

Humpback bridge closed indefinitely

Anna Maria city commissioners at the Sept. 23 budget hearing learned from public works director George McKay that during repairs to the humpback bridge on North Bay Boulevard, a safety issue came to light. Slabs on the north approach need repairs that might cost the city about $8,200, he said.

But that figure is only a “best guess,” McKay admitted.

The bridge was to close from Sept. 22 to Sept. 25 for the repairs, but McKay said he decided to keep the bridge closed after Sept. 25 while engineers determine the cause of the problem.

“I’m not going to reopen the bridge until we come up with a cure,” he said.

Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick expressed concern about the bridge, noting that the city had paid for resurfacing several years ago, only to find out in August that the adhesive material used was ineffective and further repairs were needed. Now, commissioners learned, there’s a safety problem with the bridge that’s going to cost the city more money.

McKay said he would know more about the problem and hoped to provide a better cost estimate for commissioners at their next meeting after discussing the issue with the engineers working on the bridge. Tom Wilcox of HDR is the city’s consulting engineer.

Without a more exact estimate, commissioners agreed to take a wait-and-see approach, but to leave the 2008-09 budget untouched and to take any funds needed to repair the bridge from the budget’s contingency fund.