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Date of Issue: March 11, 2009

Bridge rehab costs now at $11.5 million

Rehabilitation of the Anna Maria Island Bridge started in 2007 as a $9.1 million project.

But construction costs, bonuses, a change of plans and discovery of some additional work needed on the bridge have now pushed the price tag up to $11.5 million, $500,000 more than the DOT’s estimate two weeks ago, and the project is not yet finished.

Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson Cindy Clemmons-Adente said bridge contractor Quinn Construction Inc. of Palmetto ended scheduled construction on the bridge on March 9. That was six days later than Quinn stated last week, but nearly four weeks ahead of its DOT deadline.

A few workers were visible on the bridge March 7-8 and Clemmons-Adente said they were performing electrical work and painting to complete the contract.

Quinn will receive a $50,000 bonus for finishing the project before April 3.

But in the next 60 days, the DOT will conduct inspections and, during this time, if some portions of the project fail to meet DOT standards, crews would have to return to the bridge and rework some repairs, Clemmons-Adente said.

 Quinn already has received more than $600,000 in bonuses from the DOT for completing various portions of the project ahead of schedule and revising the company’s work schedule. Quinn also took in an undisclosed bonus from the DOT for changing its plan to close the bridge for 75 days during the project.

Following an outcry from Island business owners and residents about the 75-day closure, Quinn agreed to close the bridge for just 45 days, between Sept. 29 and Nov. 13. The company was compensated for the schedule change and received a bonus for reopening the bridge one week earlier than scheduled.

The bonus money has helped push the total cost of the project from its original $9.1 estimate to the present $11.5 million figure.

A master cleanup plan is in place to clear the area along the bridge approaches of equipment and debris, Clemmons-Adente said.

The contract calls for Quinn to return the area “to its original state,” she said.

By March 6, the company had removed its boat and most of its equipment from the staging area at the east approach to the bridge and removed a large amount of trash and waste.

With the project nearing completion, DOT District One Secretary Stan Cann thanked Quinn Construction and all parties involved for their cooperation.

“As construction comes to an end, the DOT would like to thank Quinn Construction for their hard work and dedication throughout this project,” said Cann.

“I would also like to acknowledge the Island officials, fire rescue, police and Manatee County officials and staff and the public for their cooperation and support. The rehabilitation of the Anna Maria Island Bridge has been a success thanks to all involved.”


Bridge meet

The Florida Department of Transportation will present its long-awaited project development and environmental study for the Anna Maria Island Bridge and take public opinion March 26 at a hearing at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach.